Democratizing Democracy

Democratizing Democracy

Jan. 26, 2020, 9:17 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 13 No. 11 ,Jan.24-06,Feb.2020(Magh.10, 2076) Publisher: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

Today's representative democracy is the result of the union of two principles - democracy and representation. When the idea of democracy re-emerged during the 18th and 19th centuries, it was concluded that, due to its large population and vast territory, it was no longer possible to practice democracy in the form of direct decision-making by citizens. Democracy and representation come together in the form of representative democracy as a type of political order in which political decisions are not made directly by the people but by their elected representatives in free elections. However, this model inherently has the potential for the original voice of the people to be ignored or distorted by the representatives. Representatives do not take into account the interests of the people, but their particular interests or those of powerful minorities. This is exactly what is happening to us today: elected representatives have neglected the interests of citizens and are taking care of the interests of powerful minorities. It is logical that for citizens, this situation has caused great dissatisfaction.

The concept of democratization of democracy is to emphasize the need to ensure the continued participation of responsible and informed citizens in political processes. In order to achieve this goal and overcome the crisis of democracy, different alternative models of democracy are being devised. It should be emphasized that the term "alternatives" do not mean a complete rejection of representative democracy, but rather, a kind of improvement, complemented by certain mechanisms and institutions that should ensure stronger citizen participation in the decision-making process. For example, there is increasing talk of a participatory democracy model that wants to involve as many citizens as possible in political decision-making processes, devise new mechanisms for citizen political participation and extend the democratic principle to other spheres of life. It should be emphasized that this is not a purely theoretical model, but its elements can also be recognized in political practice.

Democratizing democracy would mean a return to politics, political and social life, society, community, and citizens - the original meaning and meaning of democracy. In other words, to democratize democracy would mean to make democracy more direct, to minimize the gap between the subject of democracy, i.e. people or citizens, and democratic procedures involving joint recognition and articulation of problems, joint decision-making, and decision-making, of course, with the ongoing debate within communities and among communities. This implies developing different mechanisms of democracy, aside from those offered to us in the existing hierarchical-institutional matrix. I think it's important to act in the field of education and the media in that sense because these are the vital points of the system and the generators of its ideology.

Direct democracy is a form of democracy in which people decide on social and political initiatives directly or indirectly, unlike representative democracy in which people vote for their representatives or representatives, who then decide independently, and most often arbitrarily, without consulting citizens on social and political issues. Of course, this generally defined direct democracy can take many forms in practice, but that is the point: let people decide for themselves how they want to organize their community. In any case, direct democracy implies a different distribution and transfer of power, but also different distribution and transfer of responsibility. It does not only mean the direct election of political representatives under the conditions of the ruling economic but also the political system.

Exchange of views between citizens is essential for the democratic process, whether through representatives or through a 'direct' or 'participatory' approach. Contemporary democratic disenchantment is an established fact. It is inscribed with evidence in a story made of broken promises and betrayed ideals.

Democracy is a process of continuous development based on a set of democratic institutions and procedures which formally guarantee the fundamental freedoms of a fair and regular election of multi-party systems. Democracy is not viable if it is not rooted in the convictions of its citizens.

Deepak Raj Joshi (The author is a lecturer and IT consultant. He also writes fiction under the name of Kapeed Joshi. He can be reached by email at info@dipakjoshi.com.n

Deepak Raj Joshi.jpg

Deepak Raj Joshi

(The author is a lecturer and IT consultant. He also writes fiction under the name of Kapeed Joshi. He can be reached by email at info@dipakjoshi.com.np.)

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