Essay On Linkage And Its Significance To Democracy
Explain the Concept of Linkage and its Significance for Democracy
The change to democracy necessitates costs other than the outlay needed for transition. While management reform does not aim for the democratic minimum, it aims to reduce constant costs of democratic institutions at the least possible. The most common management strategy on this cost lies on the decision of the parliament or congress. Accordingly, there are different rules within the democratic minimum so that an alteration of rules for change requires another set of costs and benefits. The want for a change to democracy calls for an onerous work, and accordingly, those groups whose core interests are strongly linked to democratic change are expected to take their part of the bargain. The want for change and the linkage of core interest to democratic change is a fair enough reason to give up extreme claims in the spirit of democracy.
The Demand for Democracy
The demand for democracy implied that whosoever wants a democratic change would be made to shoulder the costs. This is where the linkage of the democratic minimum to concrete interest plays a significant role. Democratic activist who demand for minority rights and equality, should endeavour to show a complete link of democracy to the real interest of the people. The question to ask is why does people want democracy and this query should be link to the reason why democracy is being demanded by democratic activists.
With all their idealistic reason, people cannot be persuaded to want and pay for the costs of democratic change if such change is not at all related to their core interest. Democratic institutions should be link to a concrete interest as this institution needed an existing foundation to survive. Europe for instance, divided its interest to three democratic coalitions with the goal of forming the three winning coalitions: social interests, economic interest, and legal interest.
Economic interest is strongly linked to democratic institutions for various reasons. One is liberalization where most middle class markets have an interest on democracy because it is what they needed to liberalized the economy. This opens for the opportunity to expand economic interest as liberalize markets opens various opportunities to expand operation resulting to better economic chances. In contrast to liberalization is the concept of protectionism. Protectionism is very much in contrast to liberalization, its’ goal is to protect from the insurgencies of free trading. While it is opposed to that of liberalization, it needed the protection accorded by democracy especially in cases of high tariffs. Another economic interest is the abolition of monopoly; so that while this institution is a concept that promotes state-building, the interest of eliminating monopoly is linked to the spirit of democracy. Labour movements are also associated to democracy as there is a better chance for labour unions to be heard under a democratic system.
Legal interest is also related to the call for democracy for varied reasons. For example, with democracy come equality and the abolition of unjust privilege that has long been practiced from the society of old. The abolition of privileges opens opportunities and better jobs for all. There is also the call for legal equality, as often times, a monarchical rule, despite its efficiency can bestow privileges unequally. A democratic system is believed to eliminate the often inequality that is commonly practiced in the monarchical system. Another added attraction of democracy is the legal access to law at lower costs, as democracy calls for the opening of legal access to all at affordable costs.
The Want for Democracy
Democracy is not effort of a single democratic institution or group, and it does not come within a short span of time. This is because there is no one group that singly favour democracy. There are numerous factors that needed to be considered by even a single group to come up with the idea of upholding democracy to an already existent form of government. For example, During the 20th century in Europe, majority of middle class markets opted for democracy (A.C lecture notes). Despite the attraction of such system, there are groups of the same status who were threatened by the system preferring the old authoritarian system. This was also clear in recent history throughout the world where the middle class were once the strong proponents of democracy but recently were the once who does not feel the rush to turn into democratic change because of the threat and some unfavourable features of this system. The link to democracy from this group is divided as each of these groups has their own social interest to preserve and protect.
Examples of social interest are minority rights, women’s rights and redistribution. With democracy, the interests of the minority are protected way better than in a non-democratic system. Women’s rights such as the social, legal and economic rights are closely linked to democratic concept as women’s group perceived the system as a better way to advance their cause. In redistribution, there is a divided interest, for instance in a land reform system. (A.C lecture notes). If one is a farmer who does not own a land, one would support the coalition that backs the redistribution of property rights and be conferred with rights to land and property. It would be unjust for one who is an owner of a vast land property, as he would stand to lose come the redistribution. With this a person would most likely to oppose the democratic change.
Democratic coalitions in themselves also have their own contradictory interest leading to the divided and overlapping interest in democracy. Economic liberalization in Europe during the 20th century exemplifies the fact that there is a divided cause in terms of the want for democracy. While middleclass entrepreneurs, business owners and others who perceived that they could better promote their interest in a democratic setting, some are also threatened by the change that the system will bring. Examples of social interest are minority rights, women’s rights and redistribution. With democracy, the interests of the minority are protected way better than in a non-democratic system. Women’s rights such as the social, legal and economic rights are closely linked to democratic concept as women’s group perceived the system as a better way to advance their cause. In redistribution, there is a divided interest, for instance in a land reform system. If one is a farmer who does not own a land, one would support the coalition that backs the redistribution of property rights and one will be conferred with property rights and land. It would be an irony when one is an owner of a vast land property, as one would stand to lose come the redistribution. With this a person would most likely to oppose the democratic change.
The rationality between linkage and democracy is that if democratic movements are to work, despite the minimal numbers of activists participating in such cause, there is a need for it to be magnified by the international media and, and the leading result is that democracy is then linked to a concrete interest. Another created hypothesis is that groups that wanted benefits should believe that the democratic change will bring them such change and that they will have much to in a democratic society more than when they were in a non-democratic setting. In cases when democratic movements fail to enact this linkage and showed a negative costs and benefits, it can be conclude that the democratic change have failed. Scholars claimed that democracy is only good in it-self when it is linked to a real concrete everyday interest otherwise; it will not be strong enough to create a political agenda.
The Example of Great Britain
Democracy is constructed by setting an agenda as democracy does not emerge just by itself but through the workings of those who have interests in its implementation. There are two paths where the goal for democracy may lead. One is that if it is successful enough to cause changes or to even stir the need for a change; it may lead to an incremental change. This is the case of Great Britain then in year 1832- 1919 where this country is fitted to into the democratic minimum. Incremental bargain for democracy came about as a gradual rather than an immediate change. Initially there was a gradual extension of voting that progressively started from unskilled workers until to that of giving the women the right to vote. The success of a democratic system in Great Britain may have come from the gradual shift. While there was strong opposition to the incremental bargain of democracy, it is still otherwise accepted. Opposing views were guaranteed that democracy will not result to their destruction including that of their core interest. The example of Great Britain then showed how incremental change generates not a perfect democracy but one that is stable enough for the people.
There are crucial variables that needed to be considered in order for a democratic system to survive despite several opposing views. It is a considered fact that with democracy there will always be winners and losers. The losers are likely to pay the costs. For example, in a land reform system, where there is a redistribution of resources, a land owner who has to give up his landholdings is perceived to be the loser. These are one of the reasons why democracy is seen to be a threat. Once implemented, one may be strip of his wealth, power or property. Great Britain was able to bargain its way into an acceptable democratic consequence.
The Example of Germany
During 1919-1932, democracy was passed in Weimar Republic and in effect a democratic system in the wake of the war was formed. Unlike that of Great Britain, there was not a previous bargaining. It was imposed on a short notice and in response to the war at hand. The democratic movement failed for various reasons. In contrast to that of Great Britain, Democratic Germany opted for the movement during a very chaotic period. It was immediately imposed during the time of instability causing, there was no consultation or bargaining made causing other parties to form anti-democratic movements. The failure must have come from the weak link between of interest to a democratic cause, and made during an era of chaotic regime. While the new constitution then of Germany thought democracy to be a means of labour redistribution, that interest is not strong enough to keep the spirit of democracy afloat (Kurlantzick, 2013).
Accordingly, there should be a strong link between peoples core interest to that of democratic change. One aspect where this can be determined is the effort on the part of the people to a collective effort in making the democratic change work despite the costs. Political leaders then have to create strategic means by which to reduce the operating costs of democracy. Some means by which this can be done is through the creation of political parties for the facilitation of collective actions, coordination as well as give the members an incentive to vote.
Political parties then will become the representative of diverse point of views, a representation of how the people desired their government to be run. The different political parties became participants by seeking to have an access to the political power as it indorses people to political offices. By having its leaders in the political power, the party can have its ideas and philosophies get in to become public policy. The political party can present some of its solutions to various public concerns.
After the campaign period and election is over, the average citizen has a minimal say on how the government is run by the chosen political leaders. This is where the various interest groups come into play. Interests groups are representatives of various groups who endeavoured to have some representation or voice in the political society. They have such an influence as these groups can either help a politician who listens or oppose those who remain deaf to the clamour of the majority. The bottom line is that political parties can have so much in them only if they have the interest of the people in most of their agenda. While it is true that there is no one group that have the same advocacy, it remains that all that is needed is the cooperation among people to come up with a better society. The example of Great Britain in 1832 proved to be a good example of the importance of incremental change and bargaining. Despite several oppositions, the democratic system came into the picture as strong guarantees are given to the opponents that the implementation of the system will not put them into a losing position or to that of the ruin of their core interests.
There are certain costs that one has to pay for democracy. Supporters of democracy, however can bargain that they will give up some extreme claims and as the part of the bargaining agreement, the opposition will concede to a democratic election. There is stability in this order when the bargaining agreement is affected. To the contrary, if no bargaining agreement is made, conflict may arise that may lead to a less stable government. It remains that there is a strong link between concrete interest and democracy. It was concluded that the greater the link of democracy to concrete interest, the greater is the support for democracy. However, it follows that the greater the threat to social survival; so is the threat of an unstable result (Kurlantzick, 2013).
A.S. Lecture Notes. An Associated Student Enterprise, UCSD
Kurlantzick, J., 2013. Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the World Wide Decline of Representative government.
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