The Arab Spring and the recent events in Europe have shown a new level of civic participation in the non-democracy. Student protests in Europe have highlighted the need for education reform and trade unions have rallied people in the streets to protest against economic cuts. In the name of democracy, citizens should engage in their own governance and make their voice heard. In the end, democracy can only be successful if the people are actively engaged. Here are some ideas for engaging youth in democracy.
Citizenship, inclusion, consideration and transparency are all desirable characteristics of a democracy. It is important to remember that the term “citizen” does not apply to all persons affected by a decision. Citizenship does not extend to people who do not hold citizenship, those who live outside the political boundaries, unborn children, and people with disabilities are all excluded. Moreover, decisions made in a democracy affect people beyond their geographical boundaries. For example, economic policy has a far-reaching effect on producers and consumers outside national borders.
The value of democracy is often defended from multiple perspectives. Some argue that it has value because of social relationships and associating with others. Associating with others is a fundamental human capacity. Democracy thus promotes this capacity. Others, however, argue that democracy has only instrumental value. Whether it is a virtue or an instrument depends on the individual’s perspective and the context. For example, if a country’s democratic institutions perform better than the others, they are a better option than authoritarian regimes.
Moreover, in a democracy, people can freely criticize and watch their elected officials’ actions. Representatives should listen to citizens and respond to their concerns. Democracy must also be based on rule of law. No one may be discriminated against or imprisoned based on his/her ethnicity, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation. People are presumed innocent until proven guilty. And, a democracy should allow people to express their views peacefully.
There are many ways to improve democracy and make it more responsive to the wishes of the people. More participation in decision-making and giving real power to citizens can help democracy grow stronger. But it is difficult to predict the effects of political change on individual freedoms and society. As the Chinese cultural revolution illustrated, democracy is not a silver bullet. And if it doesn’t work, democracy is dead in the water. This is a very complex issue.
Democracy has been around for centuries. But the modern version of democracy is called democratic centralism. This is the result of the revolutionary ideas of Vladimir Ulyinov Lenin. Lenin regarded a small group of leaders as the “vanguard of revolution”. The leaders make decisions in the name of the people and reflect the general will of the people. For this reason, democratic centralism is an ideal democracy for all nations. However, it is important to remember that democracy is not a natural phenomenon. It must be nurtured.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a conceptual framework for defining democracy. The Declaration states that the government authority must reflect the wishes of the people. This definition has been affirmed as part of the UN’s Millennium Declaration and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As a result, the principle of holding periodic elections and respect for human rights are foundational elements of democracy. And without these, no democracy can function properly. This concept also includes freedom of assembly, which is one of the most basic principles of democracy.