EMOCRAC ACY DEMOCRACY IN THE NTEMPORARY WORLD CONTEMPORARY WORLD CHAPTER 2
WHAT EMOCRAC ACY WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? EMOCRAC ACY WHY DEMOCRACY? CHAPTER 3
NSTITUTIO ESIGN CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN
ELECT POLITI LITICS ELECTORAL POLITICS
WORKING INSTITUTIO WORKING OF INSTITUTIONS
EMOCRATIC RIGHT GHTS DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS
Democracy in the Contemporary World
VERVIE VIEW OVERVIEW
This book is about democracy. In this first chapter we see how democracy has expanded during the last hundred years to more and more countries in the world. More than half of the independent countries in the world today are democracies. The expansion of democracy has not been smooth and straight. It has seen several ups and downs in different countries. It still remains an unstable and uncertain achievement. This chapter begins with different stories on the making and unmaking of democracy from different parts of the world. These stories are meant to give a sense of what it means to experience democracy and its absence. We present the pattern of the spread of democracy first with a series of maps and then with a short history. The focus in this chapter is on democracy within a country. But towards the end of the chapter, we take a look at democracy or its absence in the relations among different countries. We examine the working of some international organisations. This allows us to ask a big question: are we moving towards democracy at the global level? 2
EMOCRATIC LITICS D EMOCRATIC POLITICS
President Salvador Allende (wearing a helmet) and his security guards in front of La Moneda, Chile’s Presidential Palace, on 11 September 1973, hours before his death. What do you read on everyone’s face in this photograph?
EMOCRAC ACY 1.1 TWO TALES OF DEMOCRACY
“Workers of my homeland! I have faith in Chile and its future. Chileans will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason became dominant. You must never forget that, sooner rather than later, the grand avenues will be opened where free men will march on to build a better society. Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers! These are my last words and I have certainty that my sacrifice will not be in vain; I have certainty that, at the least, I will be a moral lesson to castigate felony, cowardice, and treason.” These are some extracts from the last speech of Salvador Allende (pronounced Ayen-they). He was then the President of Chile, a country in South America. The speech was given on the morning of 11 September 1973, the day his government was overthrown by the military. Allende was the founder EMOCRAC ACY D EMOCRACY
leader of the Socialist Party of Chile and led the Popular Unity coalition to victory in the presidential election in 1970. After being elected the President, Allende had taken several policy decisions to help the poor and the workers. These included reform of the educational system, free milk for children and redistribution of land to the landless farmers. He was opposed to foreign companies taking away natural resources like copper from the country. The landlords, the rich and the Church opposed his policies. Some other political parties in Chile also opposed his government.
Why did President Allende address himself mainly to ‘workers’? Why were the rich unhappy with him?
M ilitary Coup of 1973 ilitary Coup
On the morning of 11 September 1973, the military took over the seaport. The Defence Minister was arrested by the military when he arrived at his office. The military 3
NTEMPORARY CONTEMPORARY WORLD
commanders asked the President to resign. Allende refused to resign or leave the country. But realising the danger to the country and to his life, he addressed the people on the radio, part of which we read in the beginning. Then the military surrounded the President’s house and started bombing it....