The Netherlands: Is this country truly democratic?
The Netherlands is known for its free culture and fine democratic regime. The country ranks seventh on the ranking list of WorldAudit.org, a leading observer in the field of democracy, corruption and human rights. It seems to be a truly democratic country, but is it really democratic? Or is it just a country that is not too undemocratic? We will evaluate this, by looking at what democracy precisely is and how it is implemented in the Dutch society. The robustness of the Dutch democracy will also be looked at.
Definition of democracy
According to Locke, humans are naturally free, equal and independent beings, and if they are to be governed by anyone, it is only by their own consent . From this view onwards, it is easy to deduce that democracy is the only right form of government, where people can truly consent. In a democracy it is possible to choose the people that you want to rule you, but you can only do this once in a few years. For example, in the Netherlands it is only possible to elect representatives once every four years. The rest of the time you can only wait and hope that they will do the things you elected them for.
A form that would do more justice to the term democracy, would be that the people are able to vote on all decisions and laws made in the state. Some countries do have referenda for important decisions, like Switzerland. However there are two problems with this form of ruling the state:
It would be impossible to organize all these referenda and count all the votes in time; representatives now all ready have a day job voting and amending laws.
The problem of ignorance. As Plato pointed out in his anti-democratic arguments, if you're sick, you go to a doctor, an expert, for advice. He claims that the large mob is ignorant on state affairs. A carpenter and a mason are able to build a house, but they don't know how much tax should be levied. Plato means to say that ruling the...
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