One thing I like about democracy
Dr John Hirst
Democracy means government by the people. If you think the people rule in our democracy you will constantly be disappointed. Our elected representatives rule over us. Ours is a representative democracy. We can influence what the representatives might do; but our best control is a negative one: we can throw out governments that we don’t like and try the other lot.
Ours is also a liberal democracy. Its liberalism is the best part about it. A liberal state is one in which power is limited and checked and rights are preserved. So whether our vote counts for much we enjoy:
- freedom to criticise the government;
- freedom from arbitrary arrest;
- freedom of worship;
- the right to a fair trial;
- the right of assembly; and
- freedom of movement.
There are many countries around the world where the people would be well pleased if they enjoyed these rights and freedoms—whether or not they had the right to vote.