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Transcript of Democracy
right to vote
right to be elected
right to compete for support and votes
elections that are free and fair
freedom of association
freedom of expression
freedom to alternative sources of information
institutions for making policy dependent on votes
rule of the people for the people
all eligible people are entitled to participate equally in the development and creation of laws
essential equality among participants
UK political info
collective decision making, (binding on all)
Alternatives to democracy
power in the hands of a few
power derives from wealth/
"divine right to rule"
The social contract
authority for government springs from the people
modern liberal democracy
autonomous individuals acting in their self interest
Does Democracy still work in an age of trans-national corporate power and wealth?
Is there enough equality?
power in the hands of the people?
representative (unlike direct)
laws established by consent of the people
Everybody has a voice
equality of participants in deciding rules
no ruler above the law
Democracy is the logical expression of equality
Conforms to the wishes of the majority
Allows for participation of wide range of people
Better laws result because everyone has been consulted
Flexible ways of delivering democracy
"No substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent country with a democratic form of government and a relatively free press."
Amartya Sen, 1992
i.e. Democracy requires governments to take into account the views of others, their interests and rights
Broad based discussions enhance the critical assessment of moral ideas by decision makers
Hobbes, and lots of teachers, disagree!
Intrinsic qualities that are good
EACH INDIVIDUAL HAS A RIGHT TO LIBER
EACH SHOULD BE IN CONTROL OF HIS/HER OWN LIFE,
INCLUDING DECISION MAKING
Democracy is founded on notion that:
EQUALITY OF THE PARTICIPANTS,
SO THAT DEMOCRACY ALLOWS FOR A FAIR COMPROMISE BETWEEN COMPETING AIMS
It's argued that Democracy has a beneficial
impact on people's
helps people stand up for themselves
people become more
people think rationally and carefully about decisions...
because they can influence them
AND because they are accountable for them
Does a nation of moral, rational people make better laws?
Do good people make a good society?
Does a good society with good institutions make good people?
British are only free when they vote every 4 -5 years
now, more direct involvement...
(tho perhaps govt aware thru polls, focus groups, media of public opinion)
e - petitions
pros and cons
e.gs stop sell off of forests
debate re curriculum
MG to teach!
Democracy conforms to the wishes of the majority...
or does it?!
Are they given a voice?
How are their concerns met?
Exclusion from political proc
voters become manipulable (Plato)
power of corporations
Effect of global capital
elected officials increasingly powerless
decrease of role of state
recognition of need to regulate corporate power - big fight!
free market unable/unwilling to tackle e.g climate change
"Capitalism ensures that it's not the people that are in charge but their manufactured desires"
The illusion of democracy
Plato: electorate are ignorant superficial treatment of issues
Illusion of democracy
• Separation and balance of power
• Independence of the judiciary
• A pluralistic system of political parties and organisations
• Respect for the rule of law
• Accountability and transparency
• Free, independent and pluralistic media
• Respect for human and political rights; e.g., freedoms of
association and expression; the right to vote and to stand
UN General Assembly 2004
How does school 'democracy'compare btw?
Is it meaningful to make the comparison?
Every individual...intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention...By pursuing his wown interest he frequently promotes that of society more effectively than when he really intends to promote it."
(which benefits society
Probably never said or wrote it
openness to engagement
very direct (and so uncomfortable)
allows people to hold politicians to account
allows minority interests to be voiced
removal from process
people are not experts
could minority interests come under threat
democratic politicians are on a short term time scale
not appropriate to fix long term problems
IFG Koch Prezi
Democracy supports the weak at the expense of the strong
What about affirmative action?
The electorate is duped
Plato's ship of fools
All thought about the necessary characteristics of the rulers
Are some people deserving of more sway/votes?
Democratic response to the
USA playing chicken
with world economy
in private rights
and what about schools?
or is it:
"people who are able to think critically for themselves about right and wrong, who make a good society"?