Due to the numerous occasions of hearing the statement “Democracy is the best system of government”, I subject this statement to criticism and commend from a viewpoint of skepticism, not to dismiss the statement if on appearance of different evidence it shows that indeed it is the best system of government. By putting every system of government together and through rigorous analysis, we get to see which one can attain if not absolutely but probably the rank of the best system of government.
Before I continue, putting this system of government to rigorous questions is not about how each country or a specific region decided to practice it, but addressing the concept as a whole to find the truth and the loophole of this system of government which means if the loopholes or disadvantages can surpass the advantages, then we can as well think of trying a new system of government or repairing the system of government in question to fit its real name.
Democracy is said to be the government of the people, by the people and for the people. The major terms in this definition of democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people is the phrase “By the people” which represents elected representatives by the people in a state or country. Without even accessing the other features of democracy like the rule of law, separation of power, independence of the judiciary, etc. just by accessing the definition and if possible that the foundation of the phrase “By the people” cannot stand very well to protect the building of democracy then we can conclude that democracy is not a system of government by the people thou it may seem like it, but it does not unless the error can be corrected to redeem the dignity of a democratic system of government.
Since we are looking for the foundation of democracy that can be found in electing the representative by the people, I think it is necessary to ask a question “Did I select the representatives I want, or do some groups of people do that for me”. Here, it is important to take note that this has nothing to deal with election malpractices although it is a disadvantage of democracy, it has not affected the reputation of democracy since that is what the country or region decided to practice. Here, the main focus is on the major and general terms of democracy that cut across different countries and not about how each country decided to practice its democracy.
If I can find a fault that I am not the one selecting the representative I want, then I can dismiss the term democracy as the government by the people. In selecting a representative, a party system is involved, it does not matter the type of party system in operation, what matters is that I was able to cast my vote for the representative that I want. Where a single party system is involved, it was said that it will lead to dictatorship, but we have a question here, “is it the case that the people will not have a choice to vote or that the party decided to bring forth the person they want”. In answer to this, many countries decided to choose two or multi-party systems with the aim that this will remove dictatorship by ensuring that the people cast their vote for who they want to promote democracy as a true government by the people.
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After several analysis, it seems the evil that we want to prevent in a single-party system is said to be in disguise in other party systems which are the two-party and multi-party system. When a country is practicing two systems of government, with Party A and Party B as the political party in a given state or country, in each party there arises a different individual who is interested in a particular post and seeking to rule. In each party their can be up to 5 candidates who are interested in a single post, and the party will conduct a “PRIMARY ELECTION” before I continue, I would assume that any election into a particular post, everyone that will be ruled by the winning candidate should be available to vote depending on the criteria for voting hence a “Primary election” is a form of dictatorship in disguise in which out of the 5 candidate in a particular party contesting a particular post in the society or country, which are represented by canndidate C,D,E,F,and G, respectively, my best candidate that I want to select by my voting power is candidate D which belongs to party A but unfortunately, candidate E emerge as the winner in the election which I am not able to partake since it is not mainly for citizen, and at the end Party A will be represented by Candidate E and party B will select their representative also. Bases on the candidate available in both parties, I am actually not convinced to vote for them, but the candidate that get my interest has been eliminated in the so Called “Primary election”. Now, I have the option for voting for either of the two parties candidate or even without my vote one out of the two will be selected as winners. Is this a government by the people?
Now, the question here is, “is the political party selecting our representatives or we are the ones selecting them” even though a candidate not winning in a primary election does not give any assumption that he might not win in the general election. On this, I will assume that the democratic way of a primary election is propaganda of selecting our representatives by a group in disguise that our vote does. To answer this question is to raise another question “Should our vote be cast for individual representatives or Party representatives? Since the party representatives are selected by a few individuals.
However, we ought to be aware of the role of a party as a watchdog for the government but as much as I will like to discuss it, I don’t want this article to be too long while at the same time throwing a question to everyone and anyone to look critically into this loophole and give any idea of a possible solution to it. Along with this, I’ve taken my time to access other systems of government that we have not yet practiced before making an assumption to democracy as the best system of government if possible that we can find a solid foundation that can make the government, rulers, and administrator a representative selected by the people.
To be continued…….
A Philosophy student O.A.U.