Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

September 26, 2009

The foundamentals of democracy

I was surprised to see the reaction of people in the UK when they found out that in Greece you get fined and even put in jail if you refuse to vote in the general elections. They thought that it was totalitarian to force someone to vote in a democracy.

The interesting part though here is that without majority representation there is no democracy. The simplest concept of democracy is of majority rule. The majority of people support the government. However how does the government claim power when only supported by 40% of the population?

Democracy, as a way of rule, has rights but also obligations. One of those obligations is participation in the political life, with the only compulsory requirement to vote. In order to vote you would also read and form opinion during a campaign, therefore making sure that your view is also represented by a political party.

Lack of voting means that you lose your most precious democratic right and to avoid that, legislation in the first country to establish democracy enforces the obligation, safeguarding the democratic process of elections.

Pretty fair, don't you think?