Most countries in the world are democratic. The people elect their leaders, and those leaders have to rule as per the people’s aspirations.
But, leaders in democracy misuse it, and ignorant people cannot decide the honest rulers leading to many disadvantages.
Democracy is most important for freedom of life and the collective growth of a nation.
But, while some democratic countries are well developed, others are still in developing states.
This is because of the defects in the democratic system.
By this discussion, I do not mean democracy is bad. Instead, I mean democracy needs honest leaders and educated and informed people.
Demerits of democracy/ A few Bad things
- There is a chance for the widespread and evergreen corruption.
- A democratically elected leader is in a position for a limited period. So there is a tendency to make money by use of power within the time span.
- Even the fear of law that can deter him can be absent. Because, once he loses his power, he can migrate to a different country and evade the laws of his nation.
- Hence, industries and companies can easily invest and get undue benefits from other nations by bribing that state leader.
- This is so common that dozens of U.S. companies face bribery allegations in other nations.
- In a democracy, corruption chances cannot be controlled as long as the entire nation’s people want to avoid it.
- This includes leaders, officials, people, businessmen, etc.
- Even if one is not corrupt, the entire system can go against him, and gradually, he too has to adopt corruption.
2. Misuse of Equality
- The rule of equality is also responsible for the enormous levels of injustice and corruption.
- Due to democracy, no single power can control the misbehavior of small leaders.
- The lower-rank officer can defy his superior in spite of being unfair in his job.
- Henceforth all leaders & officials try to compromise at the cost of national prospects.
- They steal the resources of the country and deceive people.
- In countries that have one supreme power, the extent of corruption is limited.
- This is because the authority to execute the bills or laws is present in that supreme person.
- So those companies who intend to bribe will do it to the supreme power and his subordinates.
- Other officials also will be in his control, and possibilities of misbehavior are limited.
- But in a democracy with no supreme power, the bribe is demanded by all the leaders.
- So in one sense, all leaders are ready to steal the country’s resources as they intend to get richer.
- The more thieves, the more the robbery, so the country becomes poor.
- For this, again, prices are hiked to maintain the government’s budget, and that money can be misused.
- No one has the power to question, and even if someone questions, no one is there to answer.
- Even if there is widespread media attention of misdeeds of those in power, the leaders abuse each other, and the common man would be tired of seeing this drama.
- If we consider the king’s rule, there be heavy taxes or low taxes based on the attitude of the ruler. Despie high taxes, this may not a problem as only the king is trying to be rich.
- Further, he also tries to conquer neighbouring states, so his riches come from other lands too.
- But in the case of democracy, leaders get turns of 4 or 5 years to rule, and when they get a chance, they will try to be rich through corruption.
- So leaders can be ready to rob the resources and cause trouble for people within the state.
- In another way, we see no protection for the common man.
3. No protection for the common man
In democracy, the elected leaders will be well protected.
- But the same cannot be for the common man. In many insances, there will be no protection for the common man as the policies of leaders can encourage wrong people to misbehave in public.
- Even security personnel and police treat injustice differently based on the individuals and their level of influence in the society.
- They favor those in power or wealth and neglect or even cause trouble to those who are sick or weak socially.
4. Divide and rule methods
- The leaders try to play divide-and-rule games to stay in power.
- They divide the people based on religion, color, ethnicity, castes and even language.
- This way they stoke the emotions of public and garner votes. Despite their evil deeds and harmful policies they can still come back to power.
- Even during elections, if the candidates standing for the election is not in their interest, people abstain from voting.
- For instance, in US elections, it is believed that black people are less interested in voting when both the contestants in the white house are of a white background.
5. Unfair businesses
- They encourage unfair trade practices to get support for election campaigns.
- This we can see as most politicians support specific rich people in return for monetary benefits like party funds etc.
- So, these businesses would be least concerned about the environment and the effects on the population while executing their plans.
6. Addiction to power
- The sole motto of politicians is to get into power and cling to it.
- There are very few leaders who work for the benefit of the country.
- Democracy is meant to elect one eligible with sufficient experience to rule and lead the nation forward.
- But parties compete for power without even having the right candidate for the post.
- So they use different means like money, protest, and strikes for publicity.
- Previously these strikes and protests led to the French Revolution, the American Revolution, etc., and democracies were established.
- But currently, behind every strike and protest, there is a hand of a political party.
- The political parties can even halt the parliaments and Senate from functioning smoothly.
- In places where there are multiple parties in a house.
- We can notice incidents wherein one party tries to obstruct the house and see that voice of others is not heard.
- Also, the common man is at a loss due to these politically provoked strikes and protests.
- During attacks, shops and markets remain closed.
- Income sources suffer when these raids run for a week and even months.
- But in spite of this, the parties aim at their publicity but not the plight of an ordinary man.
- And if someone questions this, they say it is freedom of speech and their right to protest as provided by democracy.
- So in one way, too much freedom leads to conflicts instead of prosperity.
7. Dynastic politics
- Ignorance of the masses is taken for a ride. Freedom means the masses can elect anyone to rule.
- But we can see there are also dynastic rules. Grandparents and grandchildren of the same family are positioned for power.
- This can be viewed in a few countries. This is because they exploit the masses emotionally.
- In the past, during kings’ rule, the successors of the throne were rude to the people.
- They did not even know the lay problems of the common man.
- So they could not provide a peaceful rule. Democracy is a way to overcome this issue.
- A democracy intends that anyone elected by the common public should govern the nation.
- But the dynasty families make up a party, and all their party workers work for them.
- Thus the very basic idea of democracy is destroyed.
- Even people also vote for them as they are brain-fed by media and party workers.
- Hence you will see selfish and less capable people taking power into their hands.
- Even you can notice film actors getting into power without much exposure.
- This is because people fail to foresee the consequences of such a rule.
- They vote just without any thought of the future. They do it for their community, film heroes, or media-created gods.
8. Lack of right choice to vote
In theroy, democracy provide the people an option to vote for the best candidate to lead the nation.
But in practice, intead of the best, people have to chose least worst or less bad candidate among the contestants.
So, practically most contestant parites are worst and people have to struggle to guess who is lesser evil to lead so that their life do not become even miserable.
This is the trend happening in most nations currently.
9. Media misuse
- In dictatorial and communal rules, you can notice that journalists cry for their freedom and rights.
- But in a democracy, the media try to fool the people such that they can influence voting behavior.
- In many countries, media channels work for some or another party.
- They even have no value for national prospects.
- They even make news that can be problematic to the country’s security.
- Their goal will be to portray one leader as evil and others as having the right to favor their choice of election results.
- This is possible because few political parties or leaders control the media.
10. Generation Gaps with a lack of experience
- This is another factor that relies on the public’s lack of memory or experience.
- Every ten years once, there would be a significant shift in the number of new voters eligible for voting.
- These new voters who are not exposed to the previous government of a political party would not have experienced their misdeeds or misuse of power.
- So, when these new voters are eligible, they sometimes vote to know how a particular party works.
- But, there could be chances that the particular party’s ideology can be detrimental to the welfare of the state.
- Hence, new voters give a chance for the wrong parties to get back into power through experienced voters who have previously discarded them.
11. Lack of justice
- Democracy is one wherein there can be a delay in prosecution.
- You can notice that in kings’ rule, the punishments are severe and very fast after the crime.
- But in democracy, the sentence can be declared after all those involved in the case become old or even die.
- This is because of option of multiple appeals in differen courts and also lack of sincere effort of police in fixing the accuded
- This is again due to political intereference or corruption
12. Unfair participation
- Not all people participate in voting.
- Public do not utilize their right to vote due to a lack of interest or laziness.
- Sometimes, they also do not vote if the candidate of interest is not available.
- In recent US elections, black Americans did not vote as they did not have a candidate of interest.
- In the previous elections, they voted for Obama, who was not white.
13. Emotional manipulation
- Politicians try to gain votes by emotional manipulation of people’s minds.
- This is quite common in the name of nationalism, secularism, claims to stop something, achieve long-standing demands, etc.
- This makes people get connect emotionally to that party or leader just during election.
- In doing so, people vote for them without thinking of other factors that can be misused.
14. Disturbance in public relations
- Every person’s perception of a political party varies to a certain extent.
- This includes the members of a family.
- A husband would like to vote for one party while his wife for another party.
- Similarly, this happens between brothers, sisters, friends, etc.
- This variation in preferences could sometimes lead to heated debates and even discord in relationships.
- I have seen some people stay away from their homes during elections.
- The reason for that was to avoid mental stress during elections. They would return home once voting was over.
- Thus, the democratic form of political affiliation can lead to troubles in relationships.
- For more, go through the fascinating book on why democracy does not lead to prosperity but social conflict.
15. Appeasement politics
- Here politicians will try to manipulate people to earn goodwill.
- For this, they offer free benefits to certain sections of society while it harms the whole nation and its economy.
- They try to encourage lethargy and improper education by incentivizing the underserved.
16. Wastage of Public Money
- Elections are to be held regularly by the election commission. To do so, large chunks of public money are spent to conduct the elections.
- In between, some of the elected politicians resign out of disagreements and go for fresh elections.
- In doing so, there are chances of frequent elections with a loss of millions of public funds to conduct the polls by the election bodies.
17. A money-making module
- People can make money through participation in electoral politics. They need not set up a business or work for a job.
- Just being a member of an influential political party, they will have a lot of scope to make money in absurd ways.
- They can favor the award of contracts or job postings and indirectly benefit monetarily from those who receive this help.
One can notice that those people in politics are mostly rich and lead a lavish lifestyle but without having a business or job at hand.
18. Chances of anti-nationals.
- Democracy is a place where external agents can fund a few citizens in a country to perform anti-national activities.
- People from other countries can fund NGOs run by a few people living in democratic countries to conduct protests to undermine government decisions and projects.
- They try to create a narrative using media and social media such that genuine leaders working for the country are intimidated.
19. Misuses of taxpayers’ money.
- Democracy provides a right for the rulers to collect taxes from salaried employees and businessmen.
- This fund is meant to provide quality infrastructure like roads, water, and other public amenities.
- However, to win the elections, the rulers distribute this money as freebies to the public.
- This way, they neglect the roads and other infrastructure needed for the better life of the citizens.
- As a complication, the people receiving free public funds do not work and instead create problems for society.
- I recently had a discussion with businessman from northern Ireland. As per him, almost of 80% of UK population would not have atleast 150 pounds in their bank accounts. This is because they do not earn and can be living on free benefits from the government. Even, the products in super markets get expired as the public do not have money to make purchases. So, in democracy lethargy can be encouraged.
20. Competition among leaders for Fame at the cost nation
- The leaders who intends to win world fame or nobel prize, try to do so by doing services that are harmful to the nation.
- It is believed that handful of leaders with an intention to look good infront of world have accepted immigrants from countires.
- Due to these immigrants few countries in Europe have been seeing widespread distrubrances in pulbic life.
So for a democracy to work, the leaders and the people should have ethics, love for the nation, respect for hardwork, honesty, integrity and justice.