Nature of Democracy

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The nature of democracy requires that its citizens be dependent upon one another.

Describe a specific situation in which citizens in a democracy might justifiably not be dependent upon one another. Discuss what you think determines when citizens in a democracy should be dependent upon one another.

Democratic nations are unique in that every citizen is given an equal voice. Governmental representatives, who are fellow citizens, are elected according to a majority of votes. They gain these votes because they represent the values and morals of the citizens who vote for them. In a sense, the governmental representatives depend on fellow citizens to exercise their rights and vote for them, and these citizens depend on their representative to make important decisions on their behalf. It is a symbiotic relationship that is integral to the proper functioning of a democracy.

Once elected, these representatives have an ethical obligation to the voters and an ethical obligation to all citizens of the country. However, in matters where a representative must make an unpopular decision for the good of the country, they cannot always depend on the approval of fellow citizens. In matters such as waste landfill locations and uranium mining, local citizens are often outraged: “Not In My Backyard” being the key phrase. Likewise, these citizens cannot depend on representatives to be aware of all the intricacies and complications associated with decisions that affect local communities. The representatives simply represent the majority of voters, not all.

The objective of a democracy is to give all citizens an equal voice. Whether it is for problems affecting all or some, citizens must depend on each other to exercise their right to vote on a solution. They must depend on each other and co-operate together in order to achieve a majority decision, and yet they must also depend on the opposition. Perhaps the landfill location chosen is in fact a fragile waterland...
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