Jose John June 3, 2016 No Comments
DEMOCRACY AND PUBLIC OPINION Democracy, commonly interpreted to mean the rule of the people by the people, is in effect an institutional arrangement, which ensures free participation of the people in the process of controlling ultimate political power. But rule by all the people is neither a political myth; nor can we discover the essence of democracy by merely counting heads. Political parties, an extra-constitutional growth in almost all democracies, are the vehicles of ideas, and plurality of ideas involves multiple parties. In fad, parties act as the bridge between social thoughts and political decisions in a democracy. But there are certain vital conditions on which democracy and the democratic method of government depend. These are: coexistence of ideas and also of political parties; universal adult suffrage (a limited or selective electorate inhibits a democratic order and hence must not be allowed; and, what is equally important, the right to free discussion and periodic elections without which the people cannot indicate their political opinions and preferences). Public opinion, therefore, is vital to every democracy. Maclver, the famous political scientist, said the “incessant activity of popular opinion is the dynamics of democracy.” Governmental decisions in a democracy are the function and outcome of public opinion rather than of force; and...
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