Last Updated 04 Jul 2021

Essay Summary of Democracy

Category Democracy
Essay type Summary
Words 1397 (5 pages)
Views 465
Table of contents

Etymologically, democracy comes from two Greek words, demos and cratein. Demos means society while cratein means authority.

There are many terminological definitions of democracy, one of it is definition is by Henry B. Mayo stating that democracy is a political system showing the public policy determined by representatives audited effectively by the society by having periodic elections based on principles of political similarities in a situation where there is freedom to choose.This means that the government has to accept opinions and critics from the society and no right to interfere with non-formal democracy facilities, also the freedom of speech and media. Democracy has its three roles, to be the government of the people, by the people and for the people; A valid government is an approved government that has the support of majority of the people through elections. Government’s authority has to be upon the people not from the elite personal and bureaucracy drive. Government’s authority has to be established by the basis the people’s needs Democracy: Norms of CoexistenceThere are six norms for a democratic society, which are:

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  1. Realization of pluralism The acknowledgement of differences has to be acted to appreciate different perspectives, shrinking any acts of supremacy of the majorities and tyranny of the minorities.
  2. Discussions Having diplomatic and mature citizens who can accept negotiations and compromises socially or politically with no hard feelings on every decisions made
  3. To gain has to be in sync with the goal It is not enough to apply democracy on elections and such, but there has be morals and with no need for threats and enforcements
  4. Norm of honesty and agreements Mastering the art of discussions to be honest and transparent, giving a win-win situation for all
  5. Freedom of conscience and egalitarianism This norm will develop greatly if assumed positively, if not, it will show the potential of being secretive and misunderstanding 6. Trial and error Democracy needs experiments and participation of the people in order to have the maximal achievement of this norm Democracy is not a one-day process that can be gained in a short time. It is a long and risky journey to reach the topia of democracy and patience is the key for achieving it.

History of Democracy Democracy was first started in Greece on the 6th century B. C until the 4th century A. D. It was once a system where it is the people’s right to decide on politics, however the system was biased because the haves were dominating. Then, in the medieval times, democracy strikes again when Magna Charta was born in England, stating that the King’s authority was limited and the people’s rights were more important than the King’s. The great era of Renaissance, which means rebirth in French, sparked more democracy in Europe.

After Renaissance, the Reformation Movement, which is the revolution of religion in the 16th century, revived democracy after its defeat in the medieval times. Martin Luther King was one of the critics fighting against the churches and absolutism, he stated that rationalities are based on the natural law and social contract.. Social contract, defined by Montesquieu, is the main system which guarantees political rights through trias politica, which is the division of authority: legislative, executive and judicative.All this centuries of democracy resurgences is to obtain the welfare state.

Democracy in Indonesia

  • 1. 1945-1959 Known as the Parliamentary Democracy, it is not suitable for Indonesia with its lack of democracy background, giving the chance for political parties to dominate socio-politic life.

This furthers the fragmentation of politic derived from stereotypes of ethnics and religion.

  • 2. 1959-1965 Named as Guided Democracy, known for its domination from the president and the outbreak of communism and military role in the national politics.The main flaw of this democracy is the absolutism and centralization of authority for the president causing loss of social control and check & balance from legislatives towards executives.
  • 3. New Order (1965-1998) The New Order was started in the Soeharto era, a solution for adjusting the deviation of the UUD 1945 from the previous system. It is believed to aid the achievement of the 3 goals, to enforce and validate the principles of law of the state, having a adequate economical life for each individuals, and protecting the human rights and justice.

However, this order starts new problems such as the domination of military forces, bureaucracy of decision arrangements, elimination and of the roles of political parties, government’s interference to political parties, monotilized ideology of nation, in cooperation of non-government institutions

  • 4. Post-New Order (1998-present) The Reformation era is usually connected to the movement of reformed society demanding democracy and human rights. Reformation started at Mei 1998 when Soeharto resigns, leaving the society no responsiveness towards Pancasila.This is the type of democracy which has no strings attached, where the rights of each individual is the main component in the mechanism of a democratic regime.

Elements of Democracy

  • 1. The Rule of Law and Rechtsstaat) It is defined as a state giving law protection for the people through fair and open justice institutions, also guaranteeing human rights of the individuals. Rechtsstaat has the concept of having security for human rights, divisions for state authorities, government based on the law and justification of administration.

The Rule of Law is known to have supremacy of the rules of law, equality before the law and assurance of human rights

  • 2. Civil Society Civil society is an open society, having equal of obligation and rights and no pressure from the nation. Participation form the society is the significant key for democracy, having the civic engagement in order to help the process of decision makings.
  • 3. Alliance of Strategic Groups This component includes political parties, movement and pressure groups. Political parties are designed to gain authority and rank to accomplish political policies.Movement groups are a group of people assembled in an organization oriented at society’s empowerment.

for example Muhammadiyah, Nahdlatul Ulama, Persatuan Islam, Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam, Gerakan Mahasiswa Nasionalis Indonesia and etc. Last but not least, the pressure groups are the organization based on a interest criteria, for example Ikatan Dokter Indonesia, Asosiasi Ilmuwan Politik Indonesia and so on. These three groups have an important role towards democracy, increasing the critical minds, independence, constitutional in stating the mission and importance of each organization.The press and the intellectuals are also a vital essential for democracy, giving a significant application on having a democratic system. Parameters of Democratic Life Democracy isn’t just a dissertation with principles but it has a parameter and surface area which scopes:

1. Election is a process of forming a government, until now election is the most fair and a main instrument in a government replacement

2. Structure of state power is the division and distribution of authority in order to avoid an integrated control in one region or department

3.Society control is the authority relation which goes on symmetrically, has a clear connection and a check and balance mechanism Election and Political Party in a Democratic System Election is a democratic mechanism to decide on the rotation of governance structure where the people are given political rights.

It has to be held routinely with a transparent competition between the political parties Political party has an significant role in democracy, as a political structure which gains the authority and political rank. It is also a center of the people’s aspirations.This role is an implementation of values of democracy which consists of people’s participation through society control. There are various systems of parties, such as one party system, two party system and multiparty system. Islam and Democracy There are three views on Islam and democracy: 1. Islam and democracy is two different political system, Islam cannot be subordinated with democracy since Islam is a self-sufficient political system 2.

Islam is different compared to democracy if the democracy is defined as a procedure understood and practiced in Western countries 3. 3.Islam is a system value which corrects and supports democracy just like the Western countries have There are arguments against the development of democracy in Islam, first, the misunderstood and biased view on democratic practice. Most Muslims consider democracy as something in contradiction of Islam. In order to anticipate this, it is needed to liberate the religious thought to search for consensus and synthesis between Islam and democracy. Secondly, it’s a matter of culture since some Muslims are used to autocracy and absolutism. Lastly, it is said that it is only natural that democracy slows up its development in Islam.

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