How is democracy flawed

Problems with democracy

The state of democracy at the beginning of the 21st century is a cause for concern practically everywhere. Much of this concern can be traced back to the low turnout, which seems to indicate disinterest and lack of citizen participation and which undermine the democratic process, as described above.

This is undoubtedly a problem, but other studies show an increase in participation in other forms - for example through interest groups, citizens' initiatives, advisory bodies, etc. These forms of participation are at least as important to the functioning of democracy as voter turnout, if not more important. Elections are ultimately a cumbersome way of ensuring that the people's interests are properly represented, and the four or five years that make up a normal term are a long wait to hold the government accountable. People have short memories!

Two other problems are even more closely linked to the concept of representative democracy; they concern the interests of minorities. The first problem is that minority interests are not represented by the electoral system if, for example, a minority is too small in number to cast enough votes or, perhaps more often, the electoral systems are such that only the election winner enters government. The second problem is that, even if they are represented in the legislative body, their MPs are outnumbered and therefore unable to get enough votes to outvote the majority representatives. For these reasons, democracy is often referred to as “rule by the majority”.

Democracy itself cannot reliably solve the second problem. It is easy to imagine - and has happened countless times - that the majority will allow decisions that harm the minority. The fact that this is “the will of the people” is no justification for such decisions. The fundamental interests of minorities and majorities can only be protected by adherence to human rights principles, reinforced by an effective legal mechanism - regardless of the will of the majority.

Elections and election fatigue

Stockholm, May 17th (IPS) - Election fatigue dampened the celebrations after the first-ever general election for the indigenous Swedish reindeer herding people, the Sami ... turnout in the first election on Sunday was low, with only 50% of the 12,000 eligible voters voting their vote. ”InterPress Third World News Agency (IPS), 1993

“The election for the City Duma of Vladivostok, scheduled for December 17, has already suffered severe setbacks when 12 candidates withdrew their nominations due to the lack of turnout in the previous elections.” Vladivostok, Daily, November 29, 2000

“Even if the election results speak for a shift to the left, the number of non-voters is still more characteristic of the political atmosphere in Romania. The voter turnout was only 44.5% (1996: 56.4%), the lowest level ever. ”Central Europe Review, June 12, 2000

“Voter turnout in the UK general election fell to its lowest level in 80 years. Only about 60% of the electorate felt it was necessary to cast their vote. One of the constituencies with the lowest voter turnout was Liverpool Riverside with 34.1%. In the national average, 18 to 24-year-olds stayed at home the most. ”BBC, June 9, 2001

“While the overall turnout in the Slovak parliamentary elections was over 70%, it was only 20% among those 18 to 25 years old.” Rock volieb, 1998

We fight for:

Freedom and human rightsso that every individual, woman and man, has full political rights and is not discriminated against on the basis of class, caste, gender, religion or ethnicity.

equality and against any form of distinction between individuals; for social justice, for equality between the sexes, for equal opportunities and equal access to knowledge.

democracy on the basis of freedom and equality, against authoritarianism, populism and dictatorship, for the right to self-determination, for freedom and freedom of speech for all peoples.

Worldwide solidaritybecause we believe in the possibility of collective action for the liberation of individuals.
Political problem solvingbecause we believe in human ability to change the world.