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Democracy is defined as rule by the people. It usually involves the citizens of the country in the decisions of the country. This is mainly achieved by the people electing their representatives so as to make suitable laws and policies for the governance of the country. This implies that elections are one of the fundamental principles of democracy, as it ensures the peoples say implemented in the governance of the country. However, there are flaws that come with election and democracy in general thus supporting the Winston Churchill claim. In this paper, we will review the shortcomings of modern democracy.
Democracy fuels instability and violence
Most of the countries face political instability as a result of democracy and its principles. Elections being one of the fundamental principles of democracy, study show nearly nineteen to twenty-five percent of the electoral process in Africa experience some level of violence. This is evident in countries such as Kenya, Ivory Coast and now the most recent case is Burundi. In Kenya, violence followed the general elections in 2007. This violence was triggered by a combination of the economic difference in the country and the ethnic-based politics. The violence resulted in over six hundred deaths recorded and as many as two hundred and fifty thousand internally displaced persons. In March and April of 2012, Mali and Guinea-Bissau had Coup détat that took place just before the awaited elections respectively. Nigeria and Ivory Coast also experienced a high level of violence just after the elections. The most recent case is in Burundi where there is high tension in the country, just before the elections that are scheduled to be held in 2015.The above cases vividly show how elections have fueled the instability in the respective countries mentioned resulting in chaos.
Democracy benefiting the few in power
In a democracy, the main purpose is to ensure that the sound of the majority of a nation is heard but this is not the case. In most of the third world countries, we see the rich taking up the power and making laws that will ensure their self-gain ignoring the plea of the poor who form the majority of the population. The people in government are caught more often in corruption cases and misusing the public funds in the expense of the development of the country.
Democracy results to short term policies
One of the main principles of democracy is that elections should regularly be held. As a consequence, most democracies holds after a period of 4 or 5 years. Governments tend to make short term policies so that they could be able to accomplish them by the end of their term so as for them to compete favorably with the opposition. The short run policies come at the expense of the long-term one's which are ignored not because they are not equally important, but because of the competitive nature of democracy.
Democracy favoring the candidates who have sufficient funds
Elections require the candidates for leadership positions to do a campaign so as to make the general public aware of their policies and manifestos, hence making campaigns integral in the election process. A successful campaign requires sufficient funds so as to reach an enormous chunk of the country's population. This limits the candidates to be those who can finance the campaign or those with fundraising capabilities. There are allegations that the candidates might take funds from donors who expect favors in return. The Democratic applicants who occur to be poor or lack the finances of the fellow candidates for often losses.
Modern democracy comes with some limitations such as violence experienced, and instability experienced prior and after the election period. Also, we see that democracy can be used to benefit the few in power at the expense of the majority who are poor. Never the less the governments focus more on short term policies leaving the most of the long-term plans due the competitive nature of democracy. Lastly, the competitive nature of elections favor the candidates with adequate financial funding. The above shortcomings prove Winston Churchill concerns about modern democracy.
Prunier, Gerard .Kenya: roots of crisis. OPEN DEMOCRACY. 2007
Shah, Anup. Democracy. GLOBAL ISSUE. 2012