Is Democracy Still Relevant in Our Society?
ALBUKHARY INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY JALAN TUN ABDUL RAZAK 05200 ALOR SETAR KEDAH DARUL AMAN MALAYSIA Students Details Name: Mohd Rafiq Bin Mohamad Mazlan Matric No: 111100075 Trimester/ Year: 2/ 2013 School: School of Business Assignment Details Course Title: Seminar on Current Affairs Course Code: SHH1013 Assignment title: Research Paper Topic: Is Democracy Still Relevant in Our Society? Declaration I hereby declare that this assignment is personal work, and does not involve plagiarism or collusion.MOHD RAFIQ MOHAMAD MAZLAN ………………………………………….Date: 05 APRIL 2013 Is Democracy Still Relevant in Our Society? 1.
Recently, there are many political issues and problems that happened in some countries where the democracy system is applied. One such example is in Egypt and Syria. Therefore, the question that always arises in our mind, is democracy still relevant in our society? Based on the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Democracy means a system of government in which everyone in the country can vote to elect its members. Even though some parties say that democracy is not relevant in our society nowadays, I personally take a stand to say that democracy is still relevant as it brings many benefits to us in terms of economics and politics. . 0 PROBLEM DEFINITION The main purpose for me to choose this this topic is because it is based on my current observation. From what I observed, I have seen many countries which apply the system of democracy in their country are far more developed than those countries which use other form of Government. What are the realities behind the democracy system? Does it still applicable to some countries and what are the benefits, advantages or even advantages of having this system in a country? Those are questions that always arise if we discuss about democracy system.
Therefore by doing this research paper, it is hoped that the concept of democracy system will be clearer to us by comparing it in two different aspects which are the advantages and disadvantages of democracy to a country. For this research paper, I have used a method where the arguments are divided into three parts and in each part, there will be advantages and disadvantages of democracy system with some supporting details. 3. 0ARGUMENTS 3. 1ARGUMENT I It is no doubt that democracy does bring many benefits and advantages to a country but at the same time it does also bring some negative effects on economy of a country.
From Acemoglu and Robinson, an MIT economist and a Harvard political scientist, they mentioned that democracy in economics lead to inequality of economy to the citizens. Besides that, from an article, ‘Why Democracy Is Wrong’, it mentioned that democracy has brought inequality to some countries. In this article, it mentioned that democracy has failed to eliminate inequality at global level and it also mentioned that in some democratic states, there is inequality of wealth and income.
In addition, from a research paper, ‘Democracy and Economic Development’ by Adam Przeworski, from Department of Politics, New York University, he mentioned that democracy in a country does not guarantee a country to be a developed country as he gave one example in Mali where back in 1985, Mali faced a financial crisis and had a low per capita income of $532 and the same problem happened in France where on the same year France had per capita income of $12206 and grew at the rate of 1. 43 percent. On the contrary, democracy is not a primary factor that makes a country to have a financial crisis. I do not believe that democracy necessarily leads to development. I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy” (Lee Kuan Yew cited in The Economist, August 17,1994, p. 15). From a book, ‘Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy’, it mentioned that democracy has helped one country to be a developed and one such example given is Singapore. Singapore was ranked in the first position by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2009 as the most competitive country in the world.
In addition, from a book written by Rainer Heufers, ‘The Politics of Democracy in Malaysia’, she mentioned that democracy is one of the factors that have helped Malaysia in terms of economics to be one of the most fastest growing counties in this region. (Kurzman, Werum, and Burkhart, 2002) mentioned that democracy is good for investment and at the same time it has a positive effect on economic growth as it grows in a climate of liberty, free-flowing information, and property rights secure from the arbitrary power of the state. . 2ARGUMENT II Democracy also plays a significant role in maintaining a good and a stable political condition in one country. On the other hand, it also brings some negative impacts in politics of a country. In an article written by Manali Oak, she mentioned that not all citizens are aware of the political scenario in their own country thus this somehow makes people making a wrong choice during election and from Christopher Ryan Maboloc, a Chair of the Philosophy
Division at the Ateneo de Davao University, he mentioned that democracy in politics is weak because the elected party that has won the election does not guarantee a country to be a developed country in one term. And, from Alessandro Pellegata, a graduate from School in Social, Economic and Political Studies, Universita degli Studi in Milano, in his paper, he mentioned that democracy system may lead to higher political corruption compare to some dictatorships and autocracies. This is because some politicians or ministers in a country may have some hidden agendas for their own personal benefits and purposes.
For example, from the annual review of corruption in Asia by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) in March 21, 2012, India as the world’s largest democracy country is listed as the most corrupted countries in Asia and this followed by Indonesia and Cambodia.However, on the other hand, democracy does help some countries in making their countries become stable. This is proven from an article by Tusha Gupta, where she mentioned that democracy helps in making a stable government as it is based on people’s trust and support.
Again, she mentioned that democracy will make a country becomes a fair and a just country, as it is based on the principle of equality. This is because the ‘real democracy’ means the equality and freedom of all citizens and having equal access to legislative processes and are generally protected by a constitution (The Democracy Sourcebook, 2003). This can be proven from most of the countries where democracy is applied are developed countries. From World Bank in 2010, it stated that there are thirty two countries listed as developed countries and most of them are democracy countries.
A democracy country has three advantages. There are politically stable, economically stable and internationally stable. This is because most developed countries do not suffer from serious declines in economy and they do not have many problems such as wars with other countries because of the stability in politics and economics and this result to a peaceful country (Richard Bruce, 2011). 3. 3 ARGUMENT III In addition, democracy does in some ways give negative impacts on the moral and ethical aspects. From Tusha Gupta, she mentioned that democracy will lower the moral standard.
This is because the candidates will use any kinds of ways even though the ways are considered as unethical as it is to ensure that they will win the election. One such example is money power works hand-in-hand to ensure that one will win and beat the competitors. Other than that, democracy could also give bad influence by the political parties. From an online article by Pearson, it mentioned political party is a component and fundamental of a democracy system but unfortunately sometimes the party members overlook the interest of the state for the benefit of their own party.
In order to ensure that they will get the power, they will sometimes practise the immoral ways, inciting hatred and also spreading caste feelings. This will affect and give a bad impression on the national character. On the contrary, some academicians and politicians believe that democracy can help in making a good, moral and mature citizen. From Alexis de Tocqueville, a great French political thinker and philosopher, he mentioned that democracy is the first school of good citizenship. Citizens learn their rights and duties from birth till death in it.
This is because democracy creates a proper environment for the development of personality instilling good habits among the citizens. From Mansi Chitransi (2009), he mentioned that democracy is part of a social responsibility towards their nation. This is a good moral value where people achieve the sense of contribution for their country through selecting the right people to lead the country. They will have the chance to speak out their views through voting. This will also create the feeling of belongingness towards their society and its well-being.
From my personal opinion, democracy does bring benefits to the people of a country. Based on my experience, democracy creates a mature and wise person in thinking. This is because one of the elements in democracy is we are free to choose and to elect anyone to be our representative and in order to choose a person, we have to be really critical in our decision and be aware of the current situation so that we can choose the right person to run the government. 4. 0CONCLUSION In conclusion, democracy has been seen as a major influence in modernising a country. It is proven that democracy has changed many countries from a third orld country to be a first world country and it is proven by the article from The Council on Foreign Relations, where it says that most democracy countries have performed well in Growth Domestic Product (GDP) per capita per year compared to autocracy countries such as North Korea and Cuba. And I am still fixed with my stand to say that democracy gives many advantages to a country in terms economics and politics even though it is no doubt that it also somehow have negative impacts. 5. 0REFERENCES: The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (5th ed. ). College Park, NY: Longman Acemoglu, D. Robinson, J. (2005). Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bruce, R. (2011). List of Developed Democracies and Why it Matters. Retrieved from http://richleebruce. com/economics/1st-world. html Council on Foreign Relations. (2003, March 19). The Relationship between Democracy and Development: Implications for Policy. Retrieved from http://www. cfr. org/democratization/relationship-between-democracy-development-implications-policy/p5778 Chitranshi, M. (2009, March 16). Advantages and Disadvantages of Democracy. Retrieved http://www. articleswave. om/articles/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-democracy. html Dahl, R. , Shapiro, I. and Cheibub, J. (eds) (2003) The Democracy Sourcebook (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press). Gupta, T. (n. d). What are the Main Challenges to Democracy?. Retrieved from http://www. preservearticles. com/2012051632246/what-are-the-main-challenges-to-democracy. html Heufers, R. (2002, October). The Politics of Democracy in Malaysia. Retrieved from http://www. asienkunde. de/articles/Malaysia2. pdf Is Democracy An Economic Liability?. (2011, July 6). Retrieved from http://www. economist. com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/07/political-economy Kurzman, C. Werum, R. , Burkhart, R. E. (n. d). Democracy’s Effect on Economic Growth: A Pooled Time-Series Analysis, 1951-1980. Retrieved from http://kurzman. unc. edu/files/2011/06/Kurzman_Werum_Burkhart_SCID. pdf Maboloc, C. R. (2011, August 16). Political Reform and Human Development. Retrieved from http://philippine-democracy. blogspot. com/2011/08/political-reform-and-human-development. html Munsyi Ahmed. (2010). Most Competitive Economies 2010. Retrieved from http://images. businessweek. com/ss/10/05/0519_most_competitive_countries_2010/2. htm Pellegata, A. (2009, September).
The Effects of Democracy on the “Quality of Governance”. Evidence on the Capacity of Political Systems to Constrain Corruption. Retrieved from http://www. sisp. it/files/papers/2009/alessandro-pellegata-427. pdf Pereira, C. (2011, January 9). Political Institutions, Economic Growth, and Democracy: The Substitute Effect. Retrieved from http://www. brookings. edu/research/opinions/2011/01/19-political-institutions-pereira Political & Economic Risk Consultancy, Ltd. (2012, March 21). Asian Intelligence: Annual review of corruption in Asia. Retrieved from http://www. asiarisk. com/subscribe/exsum1. pdf Przeworski, A. n. d). Democracy and Economic Development. Retrieved from http://as. nyu. edu/docs/IO/2800/sisson. pdf Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board. (2012, April 11). Singapore Is Ranked First In The World As The City With The Best Investment Potential. Retrieved from http://www. edb. gov. sg/edb/sg/en_uk/index/why_singapore/singapore_rankings. html The Dilemma of a More Advanced Developing Country. (n. d). Retrieved from http://www. fas. nus. edu. sg/ecs/pub/wp/previous/PW2. pdf Why Democracy Is Wrong. (2006, May 13). Retrieved from http://web. inter. nl. net/users/Paul. Treanor/democracy. html