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DEMOCRATIC

INTERVENTIONS

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Understanding
Democracy

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DEMOCRACY

DEMOS KRATOS
(people)
+ (strength/power)

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DEMOCRACY

A democratic government is one where the


people hold the supreme power; where power is
vested on the people; and where the people
posses the sovereign will.

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DEMOCRACY

“… government of the people, by the people, for


the people…”
-Abraham Lincoln (Gettysburg Address, 1863)

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Athenian Adoption of
Democracy England’s
U.S. Declaration Creation of U.S.
Magna Carta of
(Council of 500, of Independence Constitution
Assembly of Demos, 1215
People’s Court)
(1776)

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From then on, democracy has come to mean a
government which provides for:
1. separation of powers
2. fundamental civil rights
3. freedom of religion
4. separation of church and state.
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Types Of Democracy

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Parliamentary
Democracy

A democratic form
of government that
began in Great
Britain. It features a
leading party or
coalition of parties whose leader becomes the prime
minister or chancellor. When the leading party weakens
or falls out of favor, the party that replaces it installs its
leader as prime minister or chancellor.
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Jeffersonian
Democracy

It presupposed that all male


citizens were entitled to equal
political opportunities. It
underscored the need for
leadership by those with greatest
abilities, to be chosen by the
people.

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Jacksonian
Democracy

It focused on the needs of the


ordinary people rather than on
the needs of the elite and the
educated. In pursuit of equality, it
granted more rights to the
common people and extend
suffrage even to men who did not
posses property in contrast to the
political norm of the era.
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Liberal/Constitutional
Democracy

It is founded on the following


principles:
1. Free and fair elections
2. Universal right to vote
3. Competitive political
process where qualified
people can run and be
voted for office.
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Forms of Liberal/Constitutional
Democracy

a. Constitutional
monarchy - where
the monarch’s power
is limited by the
constitution.

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Forms of Liberal/Constitutional
Democracy

b. Constitutional republic
1. Federal republic is
composed of self-
governing states that
have consolidated
together, thus forming a
federation. They share
some administrative
powers with a higher
national or federal
government.
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Forms of Liberal/Constitutional
Democracy

b. Constitutional republic
2. Unitary republic is run as
one entity and has a strong
central or national
government.

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Social
Democracy

It promotes universal
access to health,
education., just
compensation for
workers, and social
services. It seeks to
reform capitalism
through state laws and
other regulatory
policies.
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Dimensions of
Democracy
The dimensions of
democracy vary according
to a writer’s perspective.

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According to:
Political Economic Writers

Democracy has only one dimension only in


terms of political rights in the form of fair and free
elections.

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According to:
Roger Betancourt

Democracy has three dimensions, namely:

1. Political rights
2. Civil rights
3. Political legitimization
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According to:
Roger Betancourt

1. Political rights
- These are the rights to political participation.
Political participation can take many forms; the
most notable form is the right to vote. Others
include the right to join a political party; the
right to stand as a candidate in an election; the
right to participate in a demonstration; and
freedom of association.
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According to:
Roger Betancourt

2. Civil rights
- These are the individual person’s right to
autonomy and to act freely without
discrimination. They cover the rights to life,
asylum, fair trial, security, and privacy.
They likewise refer to the freedoms of
assembly, of thought, of expression, and of
religion, among others.
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According to:
Roger Betancourt

3. Political
- This happens when the people signify their
acceptance and recognition of their officials
and should express willingness to withstand
what their leadership could offer.
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According to:
Michael S. Perry (2015)

1. The sovereign people


- This refers to the “body-politic” or the
people who rule. They are, in some sense, a
unified people who exercise sovereignty either
direct means of through elected
representatives. They comprise the citizens
and the registered voters during elections.
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According to:
Michael S. Perry (2015)

2. The principle of democracy


- Equality is the underlying principle of
democracy. It is the idea that the people are
the ultimate source of sovereignty.
- People are sovereign equals (Hobbes,
Locke, Montesquieu)
- Men are born equal and free regardless of
race, gender, ethnicity, or beliefs (Rousseau)
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According to:
Michael S. Perry (2015)

3. The structure of democracy


- This pertains to the various formulations,
mechanisms, and institutions which are crafted
to enable the people to actualize their
sovereign will in the democratic process.
- It should be determined whether the
implementation of these mechanisms facilitates
or obstructs the people’s involvement.
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According to:
Michael S. Perry (2015)

4. The practice of democracy


- This involves the translation of the concept of
democracy into reality or making the rule of the
people concretely manifested.
- No matter how good the principles and
structures are, if the people entrusted with authority
show more commitment to personal interests than
to democracy, the failure of democracy is bound to
happen.
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Some Preferred
Democratic Practices

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1 Suffrage for eligible citizens
and qualified registered voters

Suffrage, or the right to vote, gives the people


the opportunity to exercise sovereignty by
choosing the candidates who will govern and serve
them. It is an inalienable political right of the
citizens so that no one, unless declared by law as
disqualified, should be deprived of its exercise.
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2 Protest against election fraud

The exercise of suffrage is not without


controversies. Election fraud such as vote buying
and results manipulation surface during the
election period.

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2 Protest against election fraud

A good example of protest against election


fraud is the walkout of 35 computer programmers
at the quick count for the 1986 snap election
where they detected a discrepancy between the
computer tabulation results and the figures on the
tally board, favoring the incumbent President
Marcos against the oppositionist Corazon Aquino.
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Communicating with local
3 government officials as a civic
responsibility

A citizen’s enjoyment of human and political


rights is coupled with his/her fulfillment of civic
responsibility which is composed of acts and
attitudes related to social involvement and
democratic governance (e.g. voting, behaving ethically,
obedience to laws and regulations, participation in community
activities).
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Communicating with local
3 government officials as a civic
responsibility

Expressing thoughts and opinions regarding


certain local or national issues, proposing projects,
suggesting activities for the community, and
ventilating opposition to some policies and
misconduct of officials are necessary to maintain a
healthy and democratic nation.
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Communicating with local
3 government officials as a civic
responsibility

Civic responsibility differs from civic duty; the


former is not necessarily a requirement but the
latter refers to acts which the citizens are legally
required to do such as paying taxes, attending
school, or registering for military service.
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Public assembly and
4 consultation

R.A. 880 (The Public Assembly Act of 1985)


ensures the people’s exercise of their right to a
peaceful assembly. It stipulates that rallies,
demonstrations, marches, public meetings,
processions, or parades (collectively called public
assembly) can be held in public places to express
opinion, to protest against, or to air grievances on
certain issues.
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5 Conduct of a plebiscite to amend a
constitutional provision

A plebiscite is an electoral process for


approving or rejecting a change or amendment in
the Constitution.

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5 Conduct of a plebiscite to amend a
constitutional provision

For the change, revision, or amendment to be


valid, it should be ratified by a majority of the votes
cast in a plebiscite within a period specified by law.
Shortly after the ratification, the amended provision
is enforced.
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“Ask not what your
country can do for you –
ask what you can do for
your country.”
-John F. Kennedy (1961)

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Benefits &
Importance of
Democratic
Participation

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Democratic participation is the involvement
or engagement with something which is freely
done, without coercion, and without threat or fear.

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Low voter turnout during elections,
signifying the voter’s neglect in exercising their
political rights and in choosing the quality of
government they would have, can lead to the
erosion of democracy.

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Benefits:

• Gives opportunity to think aloud, without fear,


about concerns in your community and society, to
influence those who govern, and to contribute to
the charting of your community’s future direction
which will ultimately impact your life condition.

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Benefits:

• Enables individual to freely join or form political


party that will field candidates during an election.
• People can demand for government action in
response to certain inadequacies in areas such
as health care, education, recreation, water utility,
road networks, housing, and many more.

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Benefits:

• Persons with disabilities can cry foul when


deprived of access to employment, education,
and use of facilities.

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Importance:

• Enables people to attain knowledge and


experience of these democratic processes and
practices.
• It makes you distinguish and discriminate
democratic and undemocratic processes,
practices, and concepts.

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Representative &
Participatory
Democracies

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Two of the most popular type or form of
democracy are representative democracy and
participatory democracy.

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Representative Democracy

• Also called as indirect democracy.


• A political system where the qualified citizens
exercise their political power through
representatives.
• The sovereign power remains on the citizens but
its exercise is delegated to the representatives
they elect.
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Representative Democracy

• Power of representatives is limited by a


combination of balancing measures such as the
constitution, an independent judiciary, and a
referendum, to name a few.

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Representative Democracy

James Mill
• He considered the system of
representation as the “grand
discovery of the modern times”
because it institutionalized
arguments and didn’t eliminate
disagreements that would lead
to unpredictable decisions.
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Participatory Democracy

• It offers more opportunities for members of a


population to contribute to decision-making
through popular assemblies.

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Participatory Democracy

Variants:
• Direct democracy – all the eligible citizens
and qualified voters directly or personally
involve themselves in making political
decisions.

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Participatory Democracy

Variants:
• Demarchy or klerostocracy – a system
where the government is devolved into smaller
independent groups, controlled by committees
composed of officials who volunteered to be
selected by sortition or drawing lots, which is in
charge of one or more societal functions.
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Undemocratic
Practices in
Democratic &
Social Relations

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Undemocratic practices are those
oppressive acts or practices that curtail human
rights and obstruct the exercise of one’s free and
sovereign will.

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Impacts of undemocratic practices can be
gleaned from various factors, such as:

• gender;
• wealth distribution and poverty;
• race relations, suffrage, and political
marginalization; and
• cultural domination, representation, and the
politics of recognition
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1 Gender

Gender bias refers to the prejudicial act or


attitude toward males or females.

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1 Gender

A matriarchal society is characterized by


female rule or female dominance, including
women’s control of property.
A matrilineal society is where the descent or
lineage, birthright, and social classification are
traced through maternal rather than paternal lines.
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1 Gender

A patriarchal society demonstrates the same


unequal treatment between males and females,
this time, in favor of the males.

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2 Wealth distribution & poverty

The widening gap between the rich and the


poor, the diminishing number of the “haves” and
the increasing number of the “have-nots,” and the
widening areas occupied by the homeless
throughout the world are only few of the negative
impacts of undemocratic practices in income
distribution, which is one of the major causes of
poverty.
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2 Wealth distribution & poverty

People are deprived of their rights to a decent


life and their dignity is trampled upon when they
cannot afford three square meals a day, when they
can only occupy dilapidated shanties, and when
their young children grow up in the streets and
work out of necessity instead of studying in school.
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Race relations, suffrage &
3 political marginalization

Unless revoked by law, every citizen is entitled


to exercise suffrage or the right to vote people to
whom he or she entrusts the authority to govern.

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Race relations, suffrage &
3 political marginalization

People who are subjected to political


marginalization are unable to fully exercise their
sovereign power they are deprived of the
opportunity to do so.

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4 Cultural domination, representation
& the politics of recognition

In society nestling multicultural, multireligious,


and multiracial populations, domination by major
cultural or ethnolinguistic groups over cultural
communities is not surprising.

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4 Cultural domination, representation
& the politics of recognition

Recognition of cultural group’s identity


becomes problematic if they are treated as less
important and as if having a marginal existence.

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Democratic
Inclination of
Institutions

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Established democratic institutions posses the
core elements of elections, political parties,
lawmaking bodies, interest groups, social
movements, and mass media.

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Values such as respect for human rights and
human dignity, racial and ethnic equity, equal
access to and distribution of wealth and resources,
social justice, fair trial, and other civil liberties and
political rights are considered as indicators of
democracy and freedom.

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There are research bodies, publications, and
agencies evaluating and assessing government
regimes, each having its own set of criteria.

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1 MaxRange

• Developed by Max Rånge and Mikael Sandberg


• Data set that analyzes political regimes and
democratization processes from the 18th century
to the present, making it the largest and most
comprehensive political data set in the world
today.
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1 MaxRange

• MaxRange2 (latest version) focuses on seven


dimensions:
• General level of democracy
• Institutional structure
• Strength of the executive
• Status of the regime
• Concentration of powers to the executive
• Position of the head of the state
• Simplified strength variable
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2 Democracy Index

• An evaluation of the state of democracy of


countries.
• Published by The Economist Intelligence Unit
(U.K.)

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2 Democracy Index

• Countries are rated as either:


• Full democracies (8 – 10)
• Flawed democracies (6 – 7.9)
• Hybrid regimes (4 – 5.59)
• Authoritarian regimes (below 4)
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2 Democracy Index

• Countries are rated based on the following


criteria:
• Electoral process and pluralism
• Functioning of government
• Civil liberties
• Political participation
• Political culture 73
3 International IDEA

• Evaluates the country’s quality of democracy.


• Based in Stockholm, Sweden
• IDEA (International Institute for Democracy and
Electoral Assistance)

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3 International IDEA

• The structure of its assessment framework is


based on popular control over decision makers,
political equality of those exercising control, and
seven mediating values.

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3 International IDEA

• The seven mediating values


• citizen participation
• authorization of public officials
• equal representation of different groups
• accountability of officials
• transparency in the government
• responsiveness to the needs of the public
• solidarity of the people.
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3 International IDEA

• The four main pillar of the framework:


• Citizenship and law and rights
• Representative and accountable government
• Civil society and popular participation
• Democracy beyond the state
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4 Freedom in the World

• An annual survey published since 1972 by


Freedom House (U.S.A)
• Ranks countries by political rights and civil
liberties mostly derived from the Universal
Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR)

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4 Freedom in the World

• The countries are scored on separate categories


of political rights and civil liberties of the people;
these scores correspond to a rating (1-7) based
on set characteristics for both categories.

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4 Freedom in the World

• The ratings are then combined to get an average


called freedom rating which notes the status of a
country as:
• Free (1.0 – 2.5)
• Partly free (3.0 – 5.0)
• Not free (5.5 – 7.0)
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