- Major decisions by elected leaders
- Free and fair electoral competition
- One person, one vote, one value
- Rule of law and respect for rights
Consider the following facts about a country and decide if you would call it a democracy. Give reasons to support your decision.
(a) All the citizens of the country have right to vote Elections are held regularly.
(b) The country took loan from international agencies. One of the conditions for given loan was that the government would reduce its expenses on education and health.
(c) People speak more than seven languages but education is available only in one language, the language spoken by 52 percent people of the country.
(d) Several organisations have given a call for peaceful demonstrations and nation wide strikes in the country to oppose these policies. Government has arrested these leaders.(e) The government owns the radio and television in the country. All the newspapers have to get permission from the government to publish any news about government’s policies and protests.
Are the following statements in keeping with democracy as a value? Why?
(a) Father to daughter: I don’t want to hear your opinion about your marriage. In our family children marry where the parents tell them to.
(b) Teacher to student: Don’t disturb my concentration by asking me questions in the classroom.
(c) Employee to the officer: Our working hours must be reduced according to the law.
There are 40 villages in a district where the government has made no provision for drinking water. These villagers met and considered many methods of forcing the government to respond to their need. Which of these is not a democratic method?
(a) Filing a case in the courts claiming that water is part of right to life.
(b) Boycotting the next elections to give a message to all parties.
(c) Organising public meetings against government’s policies.
(d) Paying money to government officials to get water.
Each of these statements contains a democratic and an undemocratic element. Write out the two separately for each statement.
(a) A minister said that some laws have to be passed by the parliament in order to conform to the regulations decided by the World Trade Organisation.
(b) The Election Commission ordered re-polling in a constituency where large scale rigging was reported.
(c) Women’s representation in the parliament has never reached 10 per cent. This led women’s organisations to demand one-third seats for women.