Individual participation in the governments of China and Peru - Essay Example

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One of the most crucial ways through which individuals’ participation in government can be actualized is through voting in the elections. When the citizens en masse participate in some process related to government, then only it constitutes individuals’ participation in government…
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Individual participation in the governments of China and Peru
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Individual participation in the governments of China and Peru One of the most crucial ways through which individuals’ participation in government can be actualized is through voting in the elections. When the citizens en masse participate in some process related to government, then only it constitutes individuals’ participation in government. When one views this perspective of individuals’ or citizens’ participation in government, it gives different perspective in the case of China and Peru. In China, with the anti-democratic Communist regime in power from mid 1950’s citizens’ participation in government has been only minimal. Although, all Chinese citizens above the age of 18 have the right to vote, they are only allowed to vote at the lower levels of political hierarchy. Lower levels in the sense, citizens are allowed to formally vote only for their township’s People Congress, and are hindered from participating in the ‘selection’ of the candidates for the County, Provincial and National level Congress. (Shivley). The reason why they are hindered is because Chinese leaders do not want to introduce and develop democracy in an optimal manner, only wanting to continue their hold. With the elected members and then selected members only elected the upper levels, the citizens have no direct role or involvement in the government formation at the National level including in the selection of President and Premier, and also at the provincial levels. Even at the direct elections at the Township Congress, mainly the Communist members are ‘facilitated’ to win, with non-members only minimally participating in the elections. Thus, it is clear even the crucial citizens’ participation ‘sphere’ of elections, there is only minimal and indirect participation of Chinese citizens, as the people are only allowed to elect the lower level representatives and even those representatives don’t represent the wide sections of society. Unlike China, in Peru democracy has taken roots and it allows the citizen’s participation in government formation. Elections are held at the district, provincial and at the national level. At each level, Peruvian citizens are allowed to participate. Importantly, with Peru following the Presidential form of government, citizens have the full right to elect the country’s head, which is not the case in China. With multiparty system in place and the presidential term limited to one term of five years, citizens have right to elect their representative. However, earlier certain hindering forces have acted against people participation in government. It happened during the rule of former president, Alberto Fujimori. In 1999, when he ran for the third term, there was electoral runoff between Fujimori and Alejandro Toledo, after the first round election did not give a clear winner. In that runoff, Toledo asked his supporters to cast invalid votes in protest against Fujimori’s election fraud, and around 25% of the votes cast were invalid. This act sort of hindered the people’s complete participation in government, as their valid votes could have given a clear cut representative, which could have been Toledo himself, as he had won around 29% of the valid votes, and with that 25% invalid votes, he could have got the majority. (Fall of Fujimori). Thus, it is clear the citizens by participating in elections can influence the politics and policies of the government. That is, by electing governments, which follows particular politics and policies, which are favorable to them, they can influence government formations as well as their policies after the election. This can be done in Peru, but not in China, because as discussed above with people having no power to elect the top leaders, they cannot influence their policies. In the case of China, that can be done only through protests, which also not allowed there. Works Cited Shively, W. Phillips. Comparative Governance Political Structure and Diversity Across the Globe Comparative Politics. McGrawhill Primis Online, 2009. Fall of Fujimori. Dir. Ellen Perry. PBS, 2005. Documentary. Read More
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