Democracy: The Best of the Worst
Democracy is without a doubt a fairly successful system of governance. Although dozens of systems have been tried over the ages, the world has been continuously edging towards increasingly democratic models, at least in baby steps when not in great leaps and bounds. And yet Winston Churchill - both the product and professional beneficiary of a modestly democratic system - suggested that he considered it to be paradoxically "the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." Of course, this is not a genuine assault on the democratic institution, but rather a humble admission that while it is the superior option, it still has profound shortcomings. While perhaps there exists potential for a truly flawless system that we have yet to try, the democratic model remains the best choice for peaceful and effective government against the other options.
The best government is the one that best serves the interest of its citizenry. Whether this means democratic, conservative, totalitarian, religious, communist, libertarian or any other description will vary from one population to next. And that is perhaps the first flaw in boasting about the greatness of democracy: it proclaims one model to be the ideal in a world where one size does not fit all. However, a democratic system also has an inherent flexibility that allows it to be adapted to suit the changing needs of the electorate. If the representatives decide that government needs to proclaim new civil rights or take control of the means of production, then they are free to do so.
With the mandate arising directly from the people, a democratic body can change to suit that needs of the people with relative simplicity. Constitutionally establishing a state based on a singular permanent ideology, such as religion or communism, makes it exponentially more difficult to govern when no society exists in a state of permanence. The only restriction across all...
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