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COMPARATIVE ESSAY (FIRST DRAFT) October 11, 2007 Name: Alciades Velasquez Level: 5

CAUSES OF LACK OF DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD The three main important things in a democratic system are: Freedom, Civil Rights and Political Rights. When there is a lack of democracy it means that an individual or group in a position of power is excluding others from participating in a system of government. This can happen when, for example, a country is ruled by a dictator or autocrat. Currently we have many threats against democracy. The most outstanding causes of lack of democracy are: economic crisis, social crisis, and political crisis. The economic crisis is related to the excessive indebtedness, as well external or internal, that it causes deficit that generate greater obligations to the states to take care of their service and in consequence cause the problems of inflation, unemployment and poverty. Economic crisis

represents a genuine threat to democracies. This point has three important implications. First, when population feel that their quality standards of live are dropping which is the

moment when most people experience economic crisis, a good political action can help contain the negative impact of economic crisis, minimize its effects, and prevent bad economic conditions in the population. But, if the government fell in its actions the quality of live of the population is in risk. Second, the absence of an adequate political response to economic crisis will cause the crisis to intensify, with the consequence that the economy will become an element of political discontent in the population. Economic crisis does not lead directly to political crisis, but is an important element that contributes to deteriorate it. Finally, democratic decline must not be understood merely in terms of technical-economic issues, but as the product of various political and institutional reforms that are essential for completing economic reform in one country.

Social crisis can erode the foundations of the democratic system. The conditions most contributing to a democratic future for a given country include democracy itself, prosperity, growth with moderate inflation, declining income inequality, a favorable international climate, and parliamentary institutions rather than presidential. Countries that have had several years of economic recession; living standards of the majority have decreased, income inequality has increased; and presidentialism has grown strongly, has caused a profound need and disillusionment of a majority of population. The major consequence cause for the frustration in the population is the possibility that military regime assume the power or people desperate elect a populist candidate to conduct the government, taking the risk to produce a breakdown of constitutional order and lacking their democracy.

Political Crisis is the third cause of lack of democracy. This includes three important elements. The first element is a popular apathy and passivity, and the absence of options other than the traditional ones. The second is the elite pacts, and the demagoguery of the leaders of the nation. The third set of elements includes a fear of uncertainty and the restrictive effect of the new international and regional climate. The resultant dissociation and marginalization of individuals from society generate political apathy and prompted a critical distancing of the public from democratic institutions and processes. The existence of widespread popular passivity, apathy, distrust of democratic institutions, and absence of democratic options foment widens that the population look for desperate options in non democratic ways.

Finally, there is a real jeopardy of lack of democracy around the world. The most outstanding causes of lack of democracy are: economic crisis, social crisis, and political

crisis. None of them alone can kill the democracy by itself, but economic crisis is a good factor to foment the social crisis and the social crisis is a good factor to help to reach the political crisis. Therefore the combination among these three elements can cause the lack of democracy in a country.