How Would You Define the Word “Democracy” Give Full Reasons for Your Answer?

Topics: Democracy, Liberal democracy, Representative democracy Pages: 5 (1811 words) Published: April 20, 2013
This essay will argue that there is no single definition of democracy, due to the fact that there are many models of democracy, which in turn have their own opinions on what the term means. For example direct democracy can be seen as government by the people. In contrast representative democracy can be seen as government for the people. Also depending if one agrees with political equality will alter your definition for example if a person has high level of social significance they would believe that democracy is the rule of the elite and political equality does not exist this is the view point of Marxists. However on the other hand liberal- democracies do believe it and therefore their opinion on “democracy” is political equality. As Bernard Crick 1993 stated, “ democracy is the most promiscuous word in public affairs” (Andrew Heywood politics third edition chapter four page 73) meaning the word democracy can mean anything.

The word democracy comes from the Greek word demo meaning people and kratos meaning power. So the classical term for democracy is rule by the people. However this term is very vague, who is the people in ancient Greece in order to participate in politics you had to be male over the age of twenty, excluding women slaves and foreigners. In contemporary times there is restricted political participation usually the ages from 21 to 15, to vote. This in turn shows that not everyone is able to participate in controlling his or her own government due to age. The fact that voting is based on majority shows that voting only represents the majority. So people who voted against the majority will not get their say “the tyranny of the majority” (Andrew Heywood politics third edition chapter four page 73) explains that the term people is not everyone living in the state but the majority. Therefore depending on how old you are and who you voted for will depend if you believe the word democracy is rule by the people.

The most significant point of democracy is liberal democrat view of political equality “one person one vote one value” this is very true most western democratic regimes are based on voting everyone get a vote and it is equal however in contrast Marxists believe that actually this is not true. The more level of significance of social equality such as control of mass communication and economic resources as well as voting is more likely to have your point of view taken into account by the government. An example is in the 2000 presidential election between George W Bush and Al Gore, Florida was the sate that could tip the balance between who would win, many news stations counted that Al gore won. The fact that George W Bush brother Jeb Bush was senator of Florida and that his other brother was in charge of publishing the votes on Fox News meant. The fact that votes was casted on fox news earlier than most stations meant many voters changed their minds and voted Bush as he was supposedly most likely to win. The fact is George W Bush had the backing from the mass media such as Fox media and people in power such as Jeb meant he came in to power. (George W Bush had mass media control, the average voter voice was not heard, and as Al gore was whom the majority voted for) (Film Fahrenheit 9-11 Michael Moore) This is an example of pluralist democracy in which the elite are in control of society, the capacity of organised groups to articulate government responsiveness. In countries that has capitalism as its backbone economy, the elite tend to be the ones who own or control big corporate business, you only need to look at “America political system and see that people funding political candidates are buying influence and accesses to lobby groups” (, that is why in 2000 191 million dollars was raised by oil companies and united defence for Bush. Of course through the course of history we know that theses business benefited a lot from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This shows...
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