Disadvantages of Democracy | 8 Merits and Demerits with Examples
Most countries in the world are democratic. Masses elect the leaders for a specified term.
Here masses choose the leaders for a specified time.
The United States of America is one of the oldest democracy in the world.
Democracy is most important for most people worldwide.
While some democratic countries are well developed, there are many which are still in developing the state.
This is because of the use of the advantages and disadvantages of democracy by those parties in power.
The equality rule is also responsible for the enormous levels of 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 leader & officials try to compromise even at the cost of national prospects. They steal the resources of the country and deceive people.
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 where there is no supreme power, the bribe is demanded by all the leaders.
So in one sense, all leaders are ready to steal the resources of the country or state as they intend to be very rich.
The more the thieves, the more the robbery and hence the country becomes poor.
For this again prices are hiked to maintain the budget of the government and again that money can be misused. No one has the power to question and even if someone questions no one is there to answer. None has the authority to challenge and even if someone questions no one is there to answer.
The leaders abuse each other, and the common man is tired to see this drama.
If we consider kings rule heavy taxes were levied on people. But this was not a problem as only the king was trying to be rich. Further, he also tries to conquer other states and so his riches comprise from other lands as well. But in the case of democracy, everyone attempts to be a leader, and when they get a chance, they will try to be rich by corruption. So some people are ready to rob the resources and cause trouble to people within the state.
In, another way, if we see, there is no protection to the common man. There is a sense of “no one cares for anyone, ” a lower rank officer will try to defy his superior as both of them are corrupt.
The above points do not mean communism or monarchy are better, but the freedom given by democracy should not be vested to safeguard from self-misbehavior.
Merits of democracy:
1. Peoples Choice: People can choose their leader irrespective of caste, creed, sex and even race. Even economically backward persons like Abraham Lincoln could become the president of the united states, women like Margaret Thatcher prime minister of the UK, etc.
2. Change of power: If a person in authority is not fit to rule, he can be replaced by elections. Many politicians who were felt unfit to govern were changed in next elections. If they were fit, were given multiple chances to rule.
3. Equal and fair justice: In a democracy, no one is above the law, and everyone is equal before it. So equal justice is theoretically possible to all.
4. People participation: Since a person is elected by people, people have the right to decide their leader by involvement in voting.
5. Nationalism: Since every citizen is involved in building the country, there is a sense of patriotism and contributions to its growth.
6. Better and equal opportunities: All are equal before the law so anyone can contest for any post. And if he is eligible, he can take the opportunity.
7. Freedom of life: People are free to live their life as they wish without causing harm to others. This is fundamental right provided by law.
Demerits of democracy/ Bad things about democracy
1. Corruption: There is a chance for the full spread and evergreen corruption. A democratic leader is in position for a limited period. So there is a tendency to make money by use of power. Once he loses his power, he can live in a different country and evade the laws of the country. Hence it is easy for industries and companies to 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 another nation. In a democracy, corruption chances cannot be controlled as long as people of the entire nation wants to avoid it. This includes leaders, officials, people, businessmen, etc. Even if one is not in a mood to avoid corruption, the entire system will go towards corruption gradually.
2. No protection for the common man: There is no protection for the common man as the leaders itself try to misuse or misbehave in public. Even security personnel and police treat injustice differently. They favor those in power or wealthy and neglect or even cause trouble to those who are sick or weak socially.
3. Divide and rule: The leaders try to play divide and rule games. They, divide the people based on religion, caste, languages, etc. and try to gain votes to get power though there are not worthy to rule the state or country.
4. Unfair businesses: They encourage unfair trade practices to get support for election campaigns. This we can see as most politicians support rich people in return for monetary benefits like party funds etc.
5. Addiction for power: The sole motto of the 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 who is eligible and has 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 protest lead 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 are not heard.
Also due to these politically provoked strikes and protest, the common man is at a loss. During attacks, the shops and markets remain closed. When these raids run for a week and even months, income sources suffer. 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.
6. Dynastic politics: Ignorance of the masses is taken for a ride. Freedom means anyone can be elected by masses 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.
The intention in a democracy is 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 in their hands.
Even you can notice film actors getting into power with no 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 for their caste, or film heroes or media created gods.
7. Media misuse: In dictatorial and communal rules you can notice, journalists cry for their freedom and rights. But in democracy, media try to fool the people such that they can influence the voting behavior. In many countries, media channels work for some or another party. They even have no value for nation prospects. They even make news which can be problematic to the countries security. Their goal will be just to portray one leader as evil and others as the right to favor their choice of election results. This is possible because few political parties or leaders control the media.
8. Lack of justice: Democracy is one wherein there is a delay in prosecution. You can notice that in kings rule, the punishments are not only severe but 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. So freedom can seem to be eviler.
9. Unfair participation: Not all people participate in voting. They do not utilize their right to vote due to lack of interest or laziness. Sometimes, they also do not vote if the candidate of interest is not available. In recent US elections, the 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.
10.Emotional manipulation: Politicians try to gain votes by emotional manipulation of people minds. This is quite common in the name of nationalism, secularism, claims to stop something, achieve long-standing demands, etc. This makes people get connected emotionally to that party or leader. Doing so, people vote them without thinking of other factors which can be misused.
11. Disturbance in public relations: Every person 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 part 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 home during elections. The reason for that was to avoid mental stress during elections. They would return home once voting is 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.