Democracy – Is It Overrated?

With dictatorships, absolute monarchies and totalitarian states, democracy seems like the most sensible choice. But is it?

I’d like to start this article by explaining one important thing: this isn’t so much an opinion piece as it is an article that aims to get people thinking. After all, in a democracy, everyone is allowed to voice his opinion and to discuss different ideas.

Democracy, in fact, is a form of government in which citizens who meet certain criteria are allowed to participate in the running of a country. This is usually affected through elected representatives, who work together to form a government that makes laws and oversees the running of that nation state.

The irony is, that even though people elect politicians, very few have words of praise for those representing them. It seems that one day we’re hailing a new name as the hero of the people and, the next, he or she becomes someone who is working against us.

Remember the fervour with which people elected Tony Blair? And what about the wave of optimism on which Barack Obama rode into the White House?

Why is that? Why do we change our opinions? Is it because we think they are wolves in sheep’s clothing or is it because we are so blinded by what they say, that we don’t see their true colours straight away? And, if it’s the latter, then what should we do to stop this cycle of never-ending disappointment?

More importantly, however, are we, the voters, the biggest problem with democracy? Is our zeal for particular political parties and ideologies hindering the true point of democracy? Is our inability to truly decipher politicians’ messages stopping us from electing the right people to power?

I’d like to believe that, at the time of voting (and, thus, selecting our next set of leaders) we all have the following in mind: Who will lead the country into a better future? Who will safeguard the rights of the citizens? Who will work hard to take care of our environment, our education and our national assets?

I will leave you with this: Even if we all do, we can never be sure that the people we are electing will do what they promise. Unfortunately for us, democracy seems to be a double-edged sword that will hurt us no matter what.

What do you think of James’s argument?

Do you agree? Disagree?

Let us know in the comments section.