Representative Democracy Essay

927 words - 4 pages

Today’s democratic societies practice representative democracy but the ideal of a true representative democracy, where those elected to power mirror the population of a given society is inconsistent with reality. The reality is that, there is an underrepresentation of different minority groups both in terms of their presence in the political assemblies and in terms of their substantive representation. History has shown that minority groups have been continuously underrepresented in most of the world’s democratic societies, and while there have been small improvements in some countries, for the most part minorities in general have yet to make any impressive gain towards more effective political representation.
In the existing literature, the under-representation of minorities in countries across the world and the potential impact of the Single Member Plurality and “pure” Proportional Representation systems on that representation have been studied extensively by authors and social scientists such as Norris (2004), Lijphart (1994), Blais (2008), Pitkin (1997), Reynolds and Reilly (2005) and Diamond (2008). While those studies have shown that minorities are better represented under “pure” proportional representation (PR) than under Single Member Plurality systems, little is known about the propensity of Mixed Member Proportional systems to provide minority groups with access to power and or better representation. If a pure PR system is conducive to the political representation of groups and majoritarian systems discourage it, the big question concerns the effects of mixed systems. By combining the two basic election principles, how do mixed systems contribute to fair representation of societal interests? And secondly, do they improve on the way the “pure” methods represent citizens?
It is very important to note at this point that the aim of the paper is not to discredit the workings of “pure” PR systems and their ability to protect and represent minority rights and interests; It is instead geared at proving that a mixed system is just as effective, or even better in representing the interests of minorities by combining the advantages of both the SMP and PR system and thus avoiding the anomalies of both.
Another gap in the existing literature is the failure to show an interconnection between electoral systems, minority representation and civic engagement. This research will attempt to bridge that existing gap by arguing that electoral systems, the political representation of minorities and civic engagement are interrelated, critical elements of modern democratic societies and that a study of one cannot be complete without an understanding or acknowledgement of the others.
Studies have shown that the type of electoral system is the single most important variable in explaining cross-national differences in the level of electoral representation of minorities. A country’s electoral system stipulates how representatives are elected; it can affect the...

Find Another Essay On Representative Democracy

On the Intro of The Principles of Representative Government by Manin

520 words - 2 pages The Principles of Representative GovernmentIn the introduction to The Principles of Representative Government, Bernard Manin discusses how the meaning of the word "democracy" has changed, and how the distinction between direct democracy and representative government is unclear.Canada is generally labelled as a democracy (that is, a government by the people), as we hold elections and have voting rights for those over the age of majority. More

Democracy Essay

714 words - 3 pages and twentieth centuries. Many different kinds of democracy exist today. They include direct, representative, religious, parliamentary, and other forms of democracy. A monarchy is a government where one person holds all the power. The people have no input in creating laws or choosing a leader. They must obey their leaders even if they don’t agree and because the rule is passed down in a family conditions in a country are unlikely to change. Kim

good government

1798 words - 8 pages the design of Athens, some of them are, White house. In addition we use Democracy, when we get get back Athenian history, they started the first direct Democracy, but the difference between the present Democracy and Athenian Democracy is modernization. Because all countries in the world used representative Democracy( A type of Democracy that people choose one representative to do things like them) we called it modern Democracy, but in the other

this is a short two page essay comparing greek democracy to american democracy. it shows how they have very little similarities.

619 words - 2 pages Ancient democracy to present democracyThe word democracy is derived from two Greek words, demos, which means people, and kratos, which means rule. Today the word has come to mean exactly that, ruled by the people. Many ancient political Greek philosophers would use the phrase "the governors are to be governed" which we can relate to today. Even though the Greek's notion of democracy is dramatically different from our current democracy, it has

Democracy - " A System of Government for the Ages"

716 words - 3 pages fulfillment. While there are many forms of democracy and each differs with the people that it serves. In Ancient Greece, Athens observed and enacted a direct democracy, due to being a small city state, the Athenian citizens while not being many in total were able to all gather and meet together and voice their opinions and vote on policies which were then made into law and enacted. Americans today enjoy a representative democratic republic. We derive

Liberal Democracy

1431 words - 6 pages faith in liberal democracy, and believe that it's not the only feasible form of democracy, they are in a minority. The theoretical circles and the popular discourse have been dominated by "liberal democracy." John Stuart mill's essay "on liberalism and considerations of representative government" is often considered as the first systematic explication and defense of liberal democracy. A prodemocrat he welcomed the progress in equality, yet

Liberalism

1568 words - 6 pages ideals they embody are presented as universal but such claims are highly contested because “the proper use of which, inevitably involves endless dispute about their proper use on the part of their users.” This is therefore the reason why Chomsky sees this promotion of democracy as a method of controlling that is used by the guardians of the world. In its pure form liberal democracy promotes a form of representative democracy where elected

Basic values of democracy

561 words - 2 pages A democracy is a system of government in which supreme authority rests with the people. The word democracy all started when Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg address to the nation. The Gettysburg address was "government of the people, by the people, for the people". A democracy can be in a direct or indirect form. A direct democracy exists when whatever the people think should be right turns into the law. A representative democracy is when a

"What is Democracy" This is an essay written about democracy. It a reaction of an average person as to what democracy means to them. This is not a step by step definition of the political system

1354 words - 5 pages ironies of these facts is that most citizens of democratic countries do not know what the word democracy means and what it represents. "A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but wont cross the street to vote in a national election." Bill VaughanThe Oxford dictionary defines democracy as government by the people, direct or representative. In Canada we have a representative democracy that allows us to pick our political

Democracy

1098 words - 4 pages categories, direct and representative. In a direct democracy, all individuals, without the elected or appointed officials, can participate in making public decisions. This system however seems to be impractical possible only with relatively small numbers of people, say for example in a community organization, village of a developing country, tribal council, or the local unit of a labor union, where members can meet in a single room to discuss

Democratic Representation

944 words - 4 pages Eugene Markov-Tolpyigin 12/10/07POL 1101Professor DeMaioAmerica is the land of democracy. It is believed that we follow democratic values. Democracy is the concept of everyone voting for someone to achieve power. The basic ideas of democracy are present in today's government. However, there are several different types. Representative and direct are most commonly associated with democracy. America was established on the basis of direct democracy

Similar Essays

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Representative Democracy

886 words - 4 pages The advantages and disadvantages of representative democracyPage 1Representative democracy is what we have in this country. We are seen by many other countries as one of the most well run countries in the world. Our system seems to run very well and there are many advantages of using the system we do. The principal is that the people are represented through their MP who is able to put the views of the constituent to parliament. On the other hand

Examining The Ways A Pressure Group Contributes To Representative Democracy

826 words - 3 pages Examining the Ways a Pressure Group Contributes to Representative Democracy In a representative democracy, citizens elect representatives to make decisions for them. In doing this, citizens hand over the responsibility for making decisions to someone else. In Britian voters elect members of parliament’s (MPs) to represent them every four to five years and this makes the representatives in some way accountable to the

Direct Democracy Vs Representitive Democracy. Contains The Ideas Of Rousseau

942 words - 4 pages The term Democracy is derived from two Greek words, demos, meaning people, and kratos, meaning rule. These two words form the word democracy which means rule by the people. Aristotle, and other ancient Greek political philosophers, used the phrase, `the governors are to be the governed', or as we have come to know it, `rule and be ruled in turn'.The two major types of democracy are Representative Democracy and Direct Democracy. Clearly the

The Politics Of Democracy Essay

929 words - 4 pages ”? Rather which system more benevolently serves the people, since “democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Despite participatory democracy being the most democratic of the two systems of government, representative democracy feasibility and efficiency, makes it the most formidable for Mars. Participatory democracy, in its true form, is dismissed simply for its practicality of use. With a population of 11 million