1. The essence of democracy
constitution election democratic citizenship
There is medullary set of specific criteria by which we can conclude as in some other conditions democracies. These include elements of a democratic system that existed already in ancient times.
The first and most important of them are active in the civil majority of free citizens who are the main actors of social self-regulation. They have an interest in public life, aware of it and their own participation and affect it in the direction that they consider desirable and correct. Without civic democracy becomes a fiction.
The second element that forms the foundation of a democratic system, all citizens are equal recognition and equal. Every voice matters as much as any other vote.
The third important element of democratic life is respect for the decisions taken together in good faith and willingness to do them. This is based one of the fundamental principles of democracy - the principle of majority government, when the mandatory considered decision that gave their votes to the majority of those who took part in the voting (will of the people - a higher law!).
Elements of democracy listed above are combined and implemented with the proper fullness in the election. Without genuine elections about democracy can not speak, although democracy is by no means limited to the election and not be limited to them. For democratic elections - a vote of free citizens, making power, the personification of self-regulation, self-sufficient adults and the ability of people to adequately understand their true interests and protect them with knowledge of the case.
Elementary requirement for true choice is an awareness of citizens in those cases where the decision is taken. Therefore, freedom of assembly and freedom to express their own opinion (freedom of speech), all of that without which it is difficult to make the right decisions, take on great significance of democracy. With free speech and his influence lives and formed public opinion - effective strength of democracy. Although the word can be used by demagogues and dishonest, incompetent people and against democracy.
Hence, democracy - is the public authorities, which carry equal citizens by taking part in the discussion and solution of public affairs by free choice (voting).
Democracy emerged and exists as an attempt and an opportunity for people to solve their own affairs. Democracy - is primarily a social self, self-regulation, independence. This system, which Mr. Lincoln defined as "government of the people, through the same people for the people."
2. "Naturalness" of democracy
When we say that the emergence and further development of democracy had "the natural", it does not mean that it confirms the almost automatically, without the will and conscious participation of the people. Like other asset of humanity, democracy is the result of effort and struggle of those who saw in it something that deserves further storage and playback. All other non-democratic forms of human conflict with the desire for independence and freedom, deforming the freedom and dignity of the oppressed.
Speaking of "naturalness" of democracy, its conformity to human nature, we mean first of all that democracy allows man to realize the interest in public life, to realize deeply inherent to each individual need (in some - passion) public recognition. With democracy embodies human capacity to influence the situation and the developments in the state to realize its own interests as an integral part of public interest. In its deep base contains a healthy lively democracy needs people to a common "game" of problems and variations of them, a speech and acclamation (or anger), rhetorical art and expression of one's unexpected (and sometimes - own) wisdom, rationality and wit.
3. The basic values of democracy
Democratic values - that's democracy for what it is worth protecting, is the personification of its significance, its appeal for millions of people, what makes democracy gaining new fans around the world.
Nationality and citizenship
The core of democratic citizenship and citizenship. They mean not only (and not so much) formal membership rights in the state, political and legal relationship with its structure, how much sophistication and social consciousness of individual dignity and human capacity to realize their own interests and protect them with knowledge of the case and considering the interests of the society .
Democracy requires a conscious and active involvement of citizens in public life, and without that it can not happen. Warning from the romanticized vision of democracy, E. Benesh wrote: "First of all, democracy means work, great work, mostly undistinguished, work systematic, persistent, constant and intense." Citizenship is the status of a developed civil values, because they increase a person civilization it, form the order based on freedom and responsibility.
The Constitution and constitutionalism
The Constitution should clearly define the principles of social coexistence of people in a democratic society. Inviolability of the constitutional principles enables us to social order and social freedom independent of whether it is the president who stands at the head of State or which party won a majority in parliament.
The Constitution is designed to limit government power and protect human rights and freedoms. Human rights and freedoms is such value of democracy, which is represented in all its forms and procedures. It is for the protection and realization of the value of a democracy. Constitutional legal order is this system of relations in which everyone is given the greatest possible freedom of initiative and self-determination. Collective behavior rules that unduly restrict an individual should not exist in a free society.
Freedom of conscience
Liberal democracy is born and adopted as one of its major values freedom of conscience and tolerance.
The importance of this value is that democracy allows you to find and use the normal form of coexistence of citizens who are of different religious opinions, or generally are atheists. Religion and beliefs Rights recognized the realm of individual choice, which can not interfere nor the state nor other people.
Now the principles of freedom of conscience are reflected in international human rights, constitutions of democratic states. But the interfaith conflict, clashes and conflicts are not left completely in the past. Even today, religious extremists and fanatics are trying by means of terror to achieve their goals, overcome the "opponents" (more often - just to destroy them). This makes democracy look dignified and appropriate response to such challenges.
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech creates free in their actions and are protected by the media, which allow citizens to be truly aware of the situation in the country. Through the media people can express their opinions regarding a particular social problem, another political figure.
Public opinion - a result of freedom of speech. After sharing opinions is possible only when people can freely, without fear of punishment or penalty, to show his true attitude to certain events, institutions, artists and others.
So, free speech, free media - is the largest democratic values. However, like any other freedom can not exist without restrictions. Imagine a situation in which the press can not just "tell all", but "to say everything with impunity" (do slander on the people, lie, etc.). Behind her we see the emergence of a new tyranny.
Citizen - media and its dignity back. Dignity - part of the authority of the citizen, his self-respect and respect for others. Everyone - a unique creation, and it must be recognized and appreciate, develop and use responsibly in life, understanding that are the outcome of dignity and in freedom. A truly worthy can only be a free man. The dignity of the citizen forces act, become an obstacle for violation of the principles and foundations of democratic order, oppose any oppression of freedom. Totalitarian regimes do not tolerate most of this very human traits, feeling that it brings them to decline.
Dignity can exist only in the context of other advantages (dignity of others). In this respect to another and its recognition is based not on any considerations respect "for something" or "for something, but only that the person is respected as such, respected in her human.
Respect for human dignity requires deeply rooted in the society of tolerance (tolerance), the recognition of the inalienable right of all people. Cultivation of dignity and tolerance civilization society exalts man.
Moral autonomy means that a person is exercising its self-determination freely and objectively, using their own understanding of happiness and good. No one can affect the ideological, religious or other preference rights. This scope of free choice. Recognize as members of society, their moral and practical means to ensure their autonomy status. It serves this purpose most written in the Constitution rights and liberties.
Areas in which the person is able to define their own lives and exist independently of the other, called the private (personal) life. In a democratic state of law and human law forbid its communication range from the casual interest (secret telephone conversations, correspondence, photographs ban without permission rights etc.).
Democracy is a socially-oriented (that is directed at the community, society) form of belief. Democracy based on respect for civic thought, joint decision, civil order and social consensus. Associative (communitarian) values of a strong ethical foundation of democratic existence. It is about solidarity, trust, mutual support and willingness to act in concert to protect
It is a universal value of any society. This means that most people would like to live in stability, orderliness and safety. But democracy - is permanent, but ordered (laws, procedures, civil balance, awareness and experience) conflict. Sometimes it takes a substantial scale (especially during elections), but that society will benefit as a result. At least not problems inside and do not take malignant latent nature. Thus, the culture of conflict is an important achievement of democracy.
4. Features of modern democracy
Primary, the true form of democracy is defined as direct and direct democracy. It got its name because the citizen has the opportunity to directly and without any intermediaries to influence the situation, to exercise their will, to express his own opinion. In the old policies (especially in Athens) on people's meeting came a few tens of thousands of citizens and it probably was a natural quantitative limit is not crossed that people could come together to work constructively and respect. Now there are hundreds of metropolises, where live millions of people who never will meet in general assembly. They can only vote and then once every few years, someone who would represent them in certain public bodies, or for any decision (as in a referendum). In the complex modern world direct (direct) democracy as the main mechanism domination became unattainable.
Return to democracy in the new time is characterized by the loss of her some rice and acquiring others. Since the end of XVIII century. important place in ideas about democracy took liberal values personal rights and freedoms, constitutionalism and the rule of law. Democracy and human rights formed the universal core of the constitutional state, various forms which owe their origin to the American and French revolutions. Liberal constitutional state (with an elected representative government, freedom of political choice and economic, legal security person) has such features:
- Of people not of their sovereign power through direct participation in decision making and, through their elected representatives, especially in the legislative structure;
- The mechanisms of direct democracy at the national level only in solving the most essential for the existence of the state and its political system problems (change state territory, etc.). At the lower levels of government direct democracy is used widely - in the form of plebiscites and referenda on many issues of the communities and regions and direct meetings and participation in self-governing bodies;
- Recognition of the inevitability of conflict as normal and even conflict of interests and thus develop mechanisms of social and political pluralism, ensuring coordination of interests and conflict resolution;
- Legality opposition and competition in the struggle for gaining power positions that directly derived from the plurality and competition for rice as a modern democracy;
- Guarantee the rights and freedoms, which provide a higher degree of personal freedom than ancient democracy. It is this trait has led to the name of modern democracy as a liberal;
- Wide citizenship and high levels of popular participation in politics, which provide the maximum reduction or withdrawal of licenses and (property age, sex, education, residence) and social involvement previously passive groups to civic participation;
- Free media, which play a decisive role in political communication, forming a core of modern democratic process.
During the second half of XIX century. and the whole XX century. democracy was the notion that capacity a universal and comprehensive content, the system of views and ideologies, it identified a number of liberal values and ideals of projective (which significantly affect the reality and promote change.) These include protection of minorities, the seriousness (not "decorative") struggle for power, openness, autonomy, participation in decision making, achieve greater social equality and more. These features refine current understanding of the democratic ideal, the understanding of democratic governance as a manifestation of the rule of people and their right to control and change the government.