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What is the role of the people in a democracy?

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Richard, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Richard

    Richard JF-Expert Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Joined: Oct 23, 2006
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    We are heading to the next general elections in Tanzania in 2010. But still there are doubts in my view if the voters are aware of their right to think and vote.

    In this brief article I will try again to remember about democracy and how it can thrive among the Tanzanian electrorate and how they can overcome all kinds of barriers including undelivered and broken promises from the untrustworthy politicians.

    What is democracy?

    "DEMOCRACY: Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and excersized directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electorial system."

    The roll of the people is thus to elect leaders that represent their opinions and values.

    Those elected individuals will then represent those people to the government; proportionatly to those who voted for them. Basically Power To The People. In proper democracies, the government is afraid of the people; rather than the people fearing and obeying the government.


    In order for a democracy to work, it is important that the people have knowledge about the definition of democracy and how it works. Thus it is highly important for a country to have a relevant educated population in order for the democratic system to work.

    This is important because uneducated people tend to lean towards radical ideologies as these ideologies might seem to have a sufficient solution to the problems of the society, however what people usually fail to see or even ignore is that these solution are based on suppression of other groups in society which usually doesn't affect the majority.

    Another important point in educating the people about the definition of democracy is that they usually tend to understand the word wrong. An example of that is that many people tend to regard democracy as a system where everything literally is allowed, this often lead to a complete chaos that devastates the order of the society rather than improving it and in that way, it leads to the opposite effect of the aims of democracy.

    The Role of the People

    The key role of citizens in a democracy is to participate in public life.

    Citizens have an obligation to become informed about public issues, to watch carefully how their political leaders and representatives use their powers, and to express their own opinions and interests.

    Voting in elections is another important civic duty of all citizens.

    But to vote wisely, each citizen should listen to the views of the different parties and candidates, and then make his or her own decision on whom to support.

    Participation can also involve campaigning for a political party or candidate, standing as a candidate for political office, debating public issues, attending community meetings, civic meetings, petitioning the government, and even protesting.

    A vital form of participation comes through active membership in independent, non-governmental organizations, what we call "civil society."
    These organizations represent a variety of interests and beliefs: farmers, workers, doctors, teachers, business owners, religious believers, women, students, human rights activists.

    Democracy depends on citizen participation in all these ways. But participation must be peaceful, respectful of the law, and tolerant of the different views of other groups and individuals.

    For Democracy to work the people must becapable of making intelligent decisions. they must tell truth from falsehood.