Sociologist,

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Pre-requisite of democracy

As a strong believer of Democracy; I would like to invite some reflections on the pre requisites of democracy to ensure the virtual practice of people led system.

Follwoing are some questions that require strategic interventions to ensure the virtual practice of people power.

local government system to devolve power from central model of goverment to ditsrict based governance system with clear accountability and transparency systems.
emhance Literacy level?
measures to fight against Feudal system?
need drastic changes in the colonial beaucratic system in various part of world?
need to clarify the role and responsibilities of legislative assemblies?
no more involvement of legislatures in development work.?

In my point of view; democracy pass through three stages to reach an optimal level.

stage one is the initial stage we may call it primary stage to understand and start practicing democracy and second stage is the transitional stage where the governments start adopting the fundamentals of democracy and pave the way to reach at next step that is optimal level.

second stage is very crucial in many terms and it should not proceed more than ten years.

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    Jul 25 2012: I don't think literacy is the key as I think it just naturally follows from a rule of law and property rights.
    • Jul 26 2012: yah I agree that literacy could not be the only factor but contribute fundamentally in providing awareness, knowledge of rights, empowerment and subsequently the assertiveness in the whole democratic process of governace. we can well understand how it evolved over the period of time in terms of power game in many dimensions.
      thanks
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    Jul 25 2012: Here's a more simplified view of democracy.

    In history, before there was America, there was Great Britain. Great Britain was a monarchy. In a monarchy, basically there is a king that decides everything. The king is the only one educated enough to make decisions, supposedly. But then there are the wealthy class people. The wealthy class people are also educated. In fact, some of them are smart enough to eventually realize, wait our king is flawed, look at all these things he's doing wrong. And so now some of these wealthy class people want to change the government, or create a new government. And some will try to figure out, ok, the king is flawed, what is the best solution? And that's when there were the Enlightened thinkers like John Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, etc. These guys were asking questions like, are all men created equal? Is slavery wrong? Does everyone have equal rights like Life, Liberty, and Property? And so on and so forth.

    And that's where America comes in. America was basically, enough educated people believed that there needed to be a change, and when opportunity arised (Christopher Colombus discovered the New World), they seized the opportunity to act on what they believe. And eventually after the whole American Revolution, we became our own country now. And that's when they began to think, okay so if the previous system monarchy is flawed, how will we change it? And eventually we concluded the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, etc. Basically that's how we got democracy, because people like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and others believed that this was the best system. You can even see in the Declaration of Independence, that everyone is entitled to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." And that sounds strikingly familiar to "Life, Liberty, and Property."

    So currently, our debate is this. Are all men created equal? How can we be equal, we're all so different. And now a lot of people realize we're not equal
    • Jul 26 2012: thanks for highligting interesting dimension,
      physically and biologically all men and women are equal and at the same time under the banner of HUman rights (UNCHR) all men and women are equal across the world. I agree with you that over the period of time diferent systems were practiced to retain control and power overhuman being. presently there is a need to generate discussion on the current power structures to run states like democracy etc and how it could be utilized to provide enabling environment where every body can practice their rights without any discrimination. There will be needed to revisit the various structural and functional stages of democracy and how it can be reached to the optimal stage where every body practice equal human rights. or we may talk about any other appropriate governance system to eradicate poverty accross the world.
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        Jul 26 2012: "Physically and biologically all men and women are equal" Is this really true? Can men be pregnant with babies? Am I the same age as you, not even missing a second? Are fat people the same as skinny and muscular people? Are people with cancer equal to people without cancer? What about disabled people and normal people? Do I have the same thoughts that you do?

        I personally think that biologically and physically no one can be the same. But perhaps the bigger question is, are we even similar in the first place? And what is that similarity if it exists?
        • Jul 26 2012: All persons are equal before the LAW.

          That is a principle, not a fact.
  • Jul 26 2012: A core of smart, educated people willing and able to determine what is NECESSARY, and do it.

    When this topic comes up, I think of the founding fathers of the USA and the men that came together to write and adopt our first constitution. This was an act of invention. Like most inventions, the USA constitution was a product of necessity. The first thing these men agreed on was that a stronger union was a necessity. I think this aspect is often overlooked. These men were cooperating, but they were also competitors; their interests and principles often conflicted. Yet they managed to come to agreement by adopting compromises that violated some of their most valued principles. .

    These men were very smart, some would say genius, but without the pressure of necessity, I think it is very doubtful that they would have been sufficiently motivated to succeed.