Ingredients of Democracy - Center For Peace & Civil Society CPCS

Report
Democracy and Crisis of
Democracy in Pakistan
By: Jami Chandio
Two Day Seminar on “Human Rights, Rule of
Law and Democracy” @ Sindh Resource Center,
Qasimabad, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan
July, 24th -26th 2010
www.cpcs.org.pk
Part-1: What is Democracy?
“Democracy is a political form of government carried out either directly
by the people (direct democracy) or by means of elected
representatives of the people (representative democracy). The term
comes from the Greek: δημοκρατία - (dēmokratía) "rule of the
people", which was coined from δῆμος (dêmos) "people" and κράτος
(krátos) "power", in the middle of the fifth-fourth century BC to
denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states,
notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC. Even though
there is no, universally accepted specific definition of 'democracy',
equality and freedom have been identified as important
characteristics of democracy since ancient times. These principles
are reflected in all citizens being equal before the law and having
equal access to power. For example, in a representative democracy,
every vote has equal weight, no restrictions can apply to anyone
wanting to become a representative, and the freedom of its citizens
is secured by legitimized rights and liberties which are generally
protected by a constitution”. OR
What is Democracy?
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Democracy comes from the Greek word, “demos,” meaning
people. In democracies, it is the people who hold sovereign
power over legislator and government.
Although nuances apply to the world's various democracies,
certain principles and practices distinguish democratic
government from other forms of government.
Democracy is government in which power and civic
responsibility are exercised by all citizens, directly or
through their freely elected representatives.
Democracy is a set of principles and practices that protect
human freedom; it is the institutionalization of freedom.
Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule,
coupled with individual and minority rights. All
democracies, while respecting the will of the majority,
zealously protect the fundamental rights of individuals and
minority groups.
What is Democracy?
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Democracies guard against all-powerful central
governments and decentralize government to regional and
local levels, understanding that local government must be
as accessible and responsive to the people as possible.
Democracies understand that one of their prime functions is
to protect such basic human rights as freedom of speech
and religion; the right to equal protection under law; and
the opportunity to organize and participate fully in the
political, economic, and cultural life of society.
Democracies conduct regular free and fair elections open to
all citizens. Elections in a democracy cannot be facades that
dictators or a single party hide behind, but authentic
competitions for the support of the people.
Democracy subjects governments to the rule of law and
ensures that all citizens receive equal protection under the
law and that their rights are protected by the legal system.
What is Democracy?
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Democracies are diverse, reflecting each nation's unique
political, social, and cultural life. Democracies rest upon
fundamental principles, not uniform practices.
Citizens in a democracy not only have rights, they have the
responsibility to participate in the political system that, in
turn, protects their rights and freedoms.
Democratic societies are committed to the values of
tolerance, cooperation, and compromise. Democracies
recognize that reaching consensus requires compromise
and that it may not always be attainable. In the words of
Mahatma Gandhi, “intolerance is itself a form of violence
and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”
(The following one-pager is taken from the U.S. Department of State publication,
Principles of Democracy.)
Read more: http://www.america.gov/st/democracyenglish/2008/May/20080609194207eaifas0.8688013.html#ixzz0rmaSUIPE
Democracy: Global Statistics
Democracy: Global Statistics
Democracy: Global Statistics
Democracy: Global Statistics
Part-2: Ingredients of Democracy
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Freedom
(of thought, believe, expression, Speech, Debate, Inquiry,
assembly, association, legitimate profession, movement…)
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Citizen’s Rights
( Human, political and civic…)
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Majority not majoritarianism
(Majority rule with the protection of minority rights and
participatory decision making)
Ingredients of Democracy
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Participation
Pluralism (Ideological, ethnic, linguistic, religious…)
Political Tolerance
Rule of Law (Equality before Law)
Minority rights
( religious, ethnic, linguistic )
Ingredients of Democracy
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Accountability
(parliamentary or democratic ways not through
discriminatory undemocratic ways like NAB in Pakistan)
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Transparency
( Access to information, Good Governance…)
Part-3: Vehicles and Tools of
Democracy
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Written constitution
Democratic Political parties
Parliament/assemblies
Free and fair regular elections
Independent election commission
Vehicles and Tools of
Democracy
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Independent Judiciary
Free and Responsible media
Vibrant civil society
Responsible citizenry
Continuous democratic process
Continuity of democratic discourse, political competition,
accountability through elections and responsible media,
alternative solutions, changing leadership….
Part-4: Deficits of Democracy in
Pakistan
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Lack of sustainability of democracy
Centralism and Lack of democratic
federalism/
Week Constituent Units
Week democratic institutions
Political parties, assemblies, conflict resolution mechanisms
i.e. CCI, IRSA, CDWP, ECNEC
Deficits of Democracy in
Pakistan
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Lack of equality among the provinces
Opportunities, development/HDI, distribution of resources
i.e. financial and natural resources which includes water,
importance in decision making at center, services,
bureaucracy, judiciary, representation in federal agencies…
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Lack of democratic culture
Way Forward
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Real transfer of power from military
to political institutions
Depoliticizing and ensuring transparency in military
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Sustainability of constitutional rule
Decentralization of centralist federal
authorities through democratic and
inclusive federalism based on 1940
Lahore resolution
Autonomous provincial constituent units
Way Forward
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Empowering and effective role of senate
Effective role of parliamentary committees
and inter-provincial institutions i.e. CCI,
IRSA, ECNEC, CDWP
Good Governance and Rule of law
Responsive and responsible governments
Respecting diversity
Protecting language and cultural of all nations and ethnic groups of
Pakistan
Way Forward
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Providing equitable social justice to
under developed and marginalized
regions, communities and
nationalities
Strengthening of civil society
Empowering the individual
Long Live Democracy
Thanks
[email protected]
www.cpcs.org.pk
www.jamichandio.com

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