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Majority decision in a democracy - Research Paper Example

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This paper looks at how decisions are reached in a democratic state and argues that a decision by the majority does not necessarily always yield optimal results. This is because the majority of people may not have access to crucial information for making informed decisions. …
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Majority decision in a democracy
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Download file to see previous pages This paper looks at how decisions are reached in a democratic state and argues that a decision by the majority does not necessarily always yield optimal results. This is because the majority of people may not have access to crucial information for making informed decisions. This conundrum of how best to govern people has confounded sages for ages going back to the times of the ancient Greek philosophers. Various types of government styles were tried in order to find the ideal and perfect form of governance that will give the best results in terms of stability, peace and contentment for all citizens. Governance can be considered as a social experiment in which various governance structures are tried to see which works best. Governmental forms are part of the larger political systems of a country. Among the various forms that were quite common before (with some still existing today in hybrid forms) are monarchy, oligarchy, plutocracy, timocracy, autocracy, anarchy, democracy, socialism and republicanism, among many others. The most common form of political system prevailing in the world today is democracy. However, its being common does not necessarily confer it is a superior political system; all that can be said about democracy is that it is the best option until a better alternative can be found that best fits the objectives of a country when it comes to the issue of governance. The ideal form of government must achieve the triple purposes of peace, stability and contentment where issues and concerns of all citizens are adequately answered. This paper attempts to point out the defects and deficiencies of a democracy and also offers an exciting alternative form of rule which is the elitist type of rule. The word elitist often invites a derisive connotation but it actually offers a better prospective form of governance. Elitism is not bad per se as it envisions a rule by people best qualified to govern the rest of the people. It does not imply exclusivity as anyone who qualifies to be a member can become one. Discussion Plato (427-347 B.C.) during his time had already seen the weaknesses of democracy. This was the reason why he advocated for a different form of government – that of the rule by the chosen few, the aristocracy. His version of aristocracy is not what we think of it today that is based on owning vast tracts of land or being fabulously wealthy; rather, an aristocrat is the person who had been educated in philosophy and therefore knows a lot about virtues and in the exercise thereof, will lead people into wealth and happiness. The classical definition of the word aristocracy, as far as Plato was concerned, is a rule by the best persons of a society. This idealistic state of government is rather very utopian in aspirations, though. Plato had given up on democracy as virtually chaotic as he had seen some of its effects on Athenian society in his time, such as some occasions of mob rule and how the electorate or the general populace put into office during an election people who were not well qualified. A fairly strong dislike of democracy led to his criticisms that it will eventually lead to tyranny. In a sense, he was right on this aspect, as democracy can be considered as a form of tyranny, that is, tyranny by the majority on the minority. Further, Plato had only seen the nascent forms of democracy during his time in which it would still naturally and expectedly be chaotic. He had not seen how modern democracy works today in which safeguards are in place. He had regarded democracy as a poor form of government, much inferior than monarchy itself. What Plato instead argued for strongly was aristocracy, in order to put the best people into government positions and let them make all the important policy decisions. He thought that aristocrats are the best people to govern because they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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