Citizen Paticipation

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Democracy and good governance is dependent on political parties, media and civil society No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. The other part has to decide and agree to be ruled by the other and this is what is said to be governed. Governance and democracy require that the majority decide what they need to be, who to do what they need and not the minority, Lincoln (1994). This paper attempts to discuss the assertion that the issue of democracy and good governance is dependent on political parties, media and civil society. The paper will start with brief definitions of key terms and then establish its position with examples drawn from the Zambian situation. The issue of democracy and good governance is crucial as far as running the affairs of a particular country is concerned. It cannot be subjected to political parties, media and civil society alone but it is vaster than mare political enchantments, media or civil society scams from certain individuals in the community. This view of perceiving the scope and boundaries of democracy and good governance is backed up by a number of scholars. For example, Lincoln (1994:83) says “Democracy and governance are influenced by many factors in the society ranging from political, social, economic and cultural…. These factors are at the core centre of democracy, rule of law and good governance in a particular country”. While it’s true that the issue of democracy and good governance is dependent on political parties, media and civil society, there are many other factors that influence the course of democracy and good governance in a particular society. For example, the activism and radicalism of citizens in a county or speech community can be one of the beacons on which democracy and good governance lies. In a community where citizens are so critical, ready to die for their rights and violate in an attempt to bring peace and justice to their fellow citizens, democracy and good governance may not be entirely dependent on political parties, media and civil society. The concepts democracy and governance are relative terms driven by the people especially those with authority and power. Individuals who are said to have authority and power, normally political leaders have a lot of influence in their immediate environments as they control the political system of a particular country, media and civil society through their machinery system. Therefore, if those in authority and power control the affairs of a particular community, it would be prudent to argue that the issue of democracy and good governance is dependent on political parties, media and civil society because all these units of the society are controlled by the same forces. Democracy and good governance are dependent on political parties in the sense that the people in power, those running the government or those identified as leaders in certain political parties has a lot of influence in the different domains of the society: the market, school, civil service, hospitals, churches and on other groupings. In ordinary times, when we speak of a democracy, we mean a country. In a democratic country, the people choose how they will be governed. Most of the time, they do this by electing leaders who run the government. However, there is more than one type of democracy. In a pure democracy, elected leaders simply carry out the wishes of the voters. But this is not easy to do. Voters must get together often to tell elected leaders what they want. They must take part in many, many decisions, (Encarta, 2009). Most democratic countries are republics, not pure democracies. In a republic, elected leaders are supposed to do what they think is best. Then, if the voters don’t like it, they can elect new leaders. Democracy and good governance are dependent on political parties because they are naturally oriented to a political system in which the people of a country rule through any form of government they choose to...
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