Democracy refers to a political system that makes it possible for self-governance by a country's population while regarding the will of the majority as law. The act of self governance is a vital activity of any society since it pushes development of human dignity. Democracy adopts various forms which include:
a) Liberal democracy
This is a form of representative democracy where representatives are elected by US citizens to enable decision-making subject rule of law and moderated by the constitution emphasizing human rights protection. In liberal democracy, large-scale decisions are made from many decisions made by US citizens.
b) Constitutional democracy
This is a political organization where citizens participate in decision-making rather than depending on intermediaries. In this form of democracy, many people believe in procedural change. A constitutional democracy enables the voting population to have the power to: change laws in the constitution; put forth suggestions for various laws and give orders to elected officials, such as recalling them during their elected term for failure to perform or starting lawsuits for going against a campaign promise. The three measures stated above operate in today’s developed democracies, gradually shifting towards constitutional democracies.
c) Participatory democracy
A Participatory democracy is a theoretical form ruled by a council structure. This form of democracy involves decision making power being utilized by those affected. A council court of citizens serves as a check on the despotism of the mainstream, and rules on which body gets to vote on which issue. Delegates vote freely and can vote differently from their council’s wishes but are required to represent the wishes of the involved council.
General role of political parties: definition and discussion
Political parties perform some vital activities in any political economy. Some of the vital roles include:
a) Aggregating demand
In society, social groupings with various interests to defend require various means through which their demands can be grouped and articulated in various government activities. Generally, political groups perform this role hence the cordial relationship between political parties with social groups and religion. For example, the Republicans were initially fighting against slavery in the north of USA. This unified demand for slave trade led to the abolishing of slave trade thus promoting democracy.
Political parties also pray a major role in creating class consciousness among members of various sections in society. For example the democrats fought for laborer rights hence ensuring employees were involved in decisions involving their salaries .These activity promoted democracy in USA.
Political parties in the USA also help by continually educating citizens on various government activities such as Medicare, security and foreign missions by the USA resulting to more informed decisions during the electorate. This thus promotes democracy since society members are involved in decisions affecting their life in USA.
b) Unifying society groups
Political parties play a major role in uniting the conflicting and competing groups in society so as to promote efficient operation of the government. Political parties provide platforms for the unification of various interests. In the US, there have been instances where political parties have tried to reconcile rural segregationist in the South with the urban industrial North’s interests. For example, in 1960 the Democrats presidential candidate John F. Kennedy succeeded in convincing the Northern Catholic voters and Protestant in the south, leading to a success. This effect of unifying people enables them to get involved in making decisions that influence their lives thus promoting democracy.
In a modern societies parties are an important link in the relationship between the legislature and the people. For example, once elected any president chooses government officials to occupy major posts in the new regime .This facilitates the people to make correct decisions concerning the administration united on a common party platform and similar policies since the parties are rooted in societies staffing enables policies to be implemented to public preference. This action promotes democracy by ensuring the peoples decisions are reflected in any new regime.
However, the success of democracy is usually determined by the intentions of the party members who at times could be aiming at getting their candidate then later forsaking democracy.
General role of Interest groups: definition and discussion
Interest groups refer to organizations that influence public opinion in social and political systems motivated by moral, political or religious influence. Such organizations include human rights groups, religious activists and lobby groups.
Interest groups play a major role in influencing decisions made by the legislature concerning the day today activities of the US government. Some of the vital roles played by interest groups include:
a) Environmental protection
Interest groups ensure maintenance of the environment through creating mass awareness among citizens of the US. This form of wide-spread outcry among the citizens causes in many cases, the legislators to make the right policies. For example, over the current past Americans have become cautious of pollution which is causing global warming. This has resulted to agitated push for safer energy such as geothermal power or wind power as compared to high-carbon content fuels such as coal. The continued push by citizens towards clean energy has resulted in legislators becoming aware of Americans need for environment maintenance hence resulting to policies in line with the people’s wishes. This promotes democracy since US citizens are considered in the process of decision-making.
b) Consumer protection
Interest groups promote quality commodity production to ensure US citizens are provided with safe commodities for consumption thus preventing side effects such as food poisoning caused by sub-standard goods .The continued awareness of citizens resulting to the labeling of goods as environmental friendly or non-environmental friendly commodities thus ensuring guided choice for consumers. This pushes the legislators to make consumer considerate decisions hence promoting democracy within the US political system.
Interested parties also ensure consumer protection through continued informing of US citizens on various healthy foods .This creates consumer awareness thus ensuring citizens acquire healthy and nutritious foods. These therefore shape policies made towards safety and hence push democracy to a higher level.
c) Policy formulation
Many interested parties interact with both legislators and the US citizens thus serve as a suitable channel enabling transfer of vital information that facilitates improved policies regarding issues such as Medicare, employment and security measures. This action by the interested parties ensures decisions made are considerate of all parties.
Requirements of democracy
Democracy as a form of governance has various requirements that enable individuals to know democracy once they view it. These requirements include;
a) Intrinsic value
People in the USA can view democracy as a form of governance adding value to the lives of individuals through creation of governments that are governed by the majority. This allows development of human dignity through designing rules of institutions Participation in designing the rules of the institutions which governing people’s lives. The occurrence of actions such as free and fair elections shows the intrinsic worth created by a democratic political system.
Democracy ensures that political systems create continuous growth through creation all inclusive policies thus building the human dignity. These requirements ensure that minimum levels of equality are fulfilled for a fair distribution of power enabling the increased value of democracy.
Democracy is thus promoted by contemporary political parties and interest groups creating awareness on various important issues thus promoting informed decision making among the electorate. This promotes the US citizens consideration in policy formulation. Political parties and interest groups in the quest for democracy have led to important development in the US society. Among others, it has led to abolition of slave trade and the recognition of rights to the people of color. This has resulted to improvements in the US society’s welfare.