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Democracy enhances the dignity of citizens. Explain.

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: In a representative democracy, people are the source of government authority and thus, they either directly contribute to decision making or elect representatives via elections who make decisions on their behalf. Therefore, it is dubbed as a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Complete answer: One of the most important features in a democracy is political equality or the consent of all individuals who form part of the political community. It is informed by the belief that all people are equally capable of and have a stake in making collective decisions that shape their lives. In a democracy, no one person’s opinion or interest is of more value than the other, hence the principle of ‘one person. one vote’. It is based on the idea of the equal moral worth of all individuals and against the exclusion of anyone from the political process. Thus, it is against hierarchies, inherited privileges or discrimination. Another central facet of democracy is accountability as citizens hold the right to access public information and statutory institutions also enjoy checks and balances over each other to ensure transparency and proper functioning. Democratic institutions function with the obligation to represent the demands of the people and justify their actions to them. In this manner, democracy enhances the dignity of citizens.

Note: Other forms of government have included—autocracy (civilian and military dictatorship), monarchy, oligarchy (aristocracy, theocracy, plutocracy) and such. Currently, for example, Saudi Arabia and Brunei which are absolute monarchies, North Korea which is run by a single supreme leader and Vietnam and China which are one-party communist states.