Democracy is gotten from the Greek Word’s “Demos” and “Kratia” (Rule of Government).
It is a system of government in which the people exercise their governing power either directly or through electoral representatives.
It is a government established by the majority that protect the interest of the minority, Examples of long lasting democratic state are Great Britain, France And Canada.
Characteristics Of Democracy
1. Existence Of Two Or More Political Parties: There must be at least two political parties that will contest election.
2. Periodic Election Election are held from time to time especially at interest of four or five years.
3. The Rule Of Law: The law is made supreme over any person or body and every citizens is equal before the law.
4. Fundamental Human Rights: The citizens enjoy certain entitlement, E.g Freedom of Expression, Press, Movement etc.
5. Political Literacy: Majority of citizen are expected to understand the function and work of government and it can also lead to the formation of political parties.
6. Opposition Is Allowed: Any part or person is allowed to oppose or criticize the government without being victimize, This is done through freedom of press, television, radio, newspapers etc.
7. Independence Of Judiciary: Judges are not influenced by the governors and president of the state. They do their work without fear or favour.
Conditions Necessary For The Success Of Democracy In The State
1. Good Governance: There must be in place a good government tested and acceptable leadership.
2. Enlightenment: For reflective and popular participation, there is need for a well informed, educated and enlightened electorate.
3. Rule Of Law: Both government and the people should show respect for rule of law and the government should be organised based on the provision of the constitution.
4. Opposition: The government must be ready to tolerate different position groups for successful operation of democracy.
5. Independence Of Judiciary: The executed and the legislative bodies should not interfer with affair of the judiciary. They should be allowed to discharged the duties without fear or favour.
6. Free And Fair Election: The conduct of election should be free to exercise their franchise.
7. Supremacy Of The Constitution: The constitution still remain supreme. The leaders and citizens must be ready to abide by the provision of the constitution.
Types Of Democracy
1. Direct Democracy
2. Indirect Democracy
1. Direct Democracy: In this type of democracy, every adult citizens participate in making laws and decision for the state. This was practised in Ancient Greek City State in Athens during the Second century.
2. Indirect/Representative Democracy: In this type of democracy, The qualified adult citizen in the state elect representatives into legislative who then makes laws on behalf of the citizens. This type replaced direct democracy in modern state as a result of the change size and population of the state.
Factors That Hinder The Operation Of Democracy
1. Interference Of The Electoral Commission: This commission should be allowed to perform their duties without fear or favour, For it’s interference hinders free and fair elections.
2. Illiteracy And Ignorance: This is another factor that hinder democracy because it prevents them from performing the civic duties of voting during elections.
3. Absence Of A Free Fair Press: When there is absence of a free and fair press that can enlighten the citizens and expose the abnormalities, democracy is affected.
4. Coups That User In Military Rule: This hinder democracy because the constitution is suspended.
5. Rivalry Among Ethnic Groups: This occurs during elections and can eventually lead to majority dominating the minority.
6. Absence Of Independence And Impartial Judiciary: This hinder democracy especially in justification of election petitions.
7. The desperation to win election by politician and leaders with selfish or individual interest. This can also hinder the successful operation of democracy.
What Are The Merits And Demerits Of Democracy?
Merits Of Democracy
1. Free Choice Of Political Leaders: It gives the electoral the opportunity to elect leader of their choice.
2. Political Stability: Democracy promotes stability in the country. A bad government can be replaced peacefully through periodic elections.
3. Legitimacy: It gives legitimacy to the elected government because the elected government has the support.
4. Participation In Government Affairs: It encourages citizens to be involved in their government and polities. It promotes a sense of responsibility and belonging.
5. Equality Of Individual: There is individual equality, freedom and protection of their possession and right where democracy operates.
6. Decision Making: Democracy does not believe in suppression of opinion. Decision is reached through discussion, argument and persuasion.
7. Democracy also promotes the principles of checks and balance and separation of powers.
Demerits Of Democracy
1. Representation: The representation of the people may be representing their own interest and not the interest of the people.
2. Rule Of Ignorance: Democracy does not pay attention to quality but quantity votes are counted not weighed.
3. Decision Making Process Is Shown: Before final decision is taken on public issue, everybody is given opportunity to express his or her view, In many cases, wrong decisions are adhered to.
4. Corruption:Election are often manipulated to favour self centered and corresponding representative through thuggery and of money.
5. Expensive: It is very expensive to operate because decision making process in a democracy involves many people.