Posted by / Friday 11 May 2018 / No comments

The disadvantages of democracy

Flag, Patriotism, Democracy, National
Democracy can be defined as the system of government in which the ultimate power of the state is in the hands of the people, ruling either directly, as it was in the ancient Greek City States, or through their elected representatives, as obtains in present day. The representatives are usually elected periodically.

Delays decision-making
One of the disadvantages of democracy is that there are delays in decision-making. This is because there must be a consensus on the issues that are being discussed before a decision can be taken. This is especially so in bi-cameral legislatures where both houses of parliament have to be consulted before, for example, a law is passed. Sometimes even, the nation must resort to a referendum before the very final decision is made. This causes too much delay, unlike in a non-democratic system where decisions are taken by one person.

It is expensive
It is also argued that democracy is expensive to operate. This is so because, so much money is spent on the electoral process both by government agencies such the Electoral Commission and the various parties participating in the election. The parties run campaigns, organize rallies or conventions, and pay for advertisement in various media and other running costs. This makes democracy too expensive to operate.

It can breed corruption
Another disadvantage of democracy is that it tends to engender corruption. When elected into office, elected representatives know they have a hold on power for the next four or so years so some may take the opportunity to amass wealth illegally. They tend to put the interest of the electorates in the dustbin while they push their own personal interests.

May put incompetent people in power
In modern democratic systems, it is possible to elect incompetent representatives into political office. This is especially so in some African and third world countries where people are elected into office on account of the political parties they belong to and not on account of their competence. In these regions, any candidate that is proposed on the ticket of a popular party is bound to be elected into office. So all it takes is to win the primaries and one is sure to enter into office. This way, incompetent people get elected into office.

Adopting unfair methods to win elections
It is said that in democratic systems, some players adopt unfair practices to win political power. Some politicians promise things they know very well they can never achieve but they deceive the people to win power. Some tarnish the image of their opponents to gain political advantage. In some African country\ies, politicians use thugs to intimidate supporters of political opponents. All these unfair means are employed to gain political authority.

Eliminates competent statesmen from political office
Another disadvantage of democracy is that competent men are eliminated from taking political office simply because they would not offer themselves for election due to the acrimony and rancor that is associated with political campaign and electioneering. Since they do not offer themselves to be elected, they cannot find themselves in political office though they could perform better.

1. a. What is democracy?
     b. What are the disadvantages of democracy?
2. Highlight six disadvantages of democracy.

The advantages of democracy

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