Comparing James Danziger And Charles Smith's Understanding The Political World

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For nearly two and a half centuries, the United States has led the western world as an beacon of democracy, allowing the people to rule themselves as they please. Our concepts of democracy are based on the simple definition of “rule by the people.” There are many definitions of democracy, yet they still center around this basic concept. In James Danziger and Charles Smith’s Understanding the Political World, they set the basic conditions for a democracy: “governance by leaders whose authority is based on a limited mandate from a universal electorate that selects among genuine alternatives and has some rights to political participation” (2014). These conditions support the necessity for a governance by the general population instead of a single …show more content…
In the United States, separation of powers was dealt with by a system of checks and balances, resulting in the formation of separate branches of government. If one branch of government were to try and overstep their boundaries and thwart the will of the people, the other two branches of government should be able to step in and prevent such action from occurring in the first place. The legislature, which is almost always chosen directly by the people, should be strong enough to prevent the other branches of government from having a concentration of power. A strong legislature is a top priority in the legitimacy of a democracy, as the Economic Intelligence Unit 's (EIU) index states “the clear predominance of the legislature is rated positively [in the index], as there is a very strong correlation between legislative dominance and measures of overall democracy” (2015). According to Freedom House, countries such as Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, and Belarus hold restrictive elections which result in regimes that fortify themselves against any type of opposition (2016). Eliminating the opposition from legislature takes the voice of the people away, leaving the other branches of government to do as they please. The Freedom House report also confirms that the countries where the legislature is decided in a non-democratic fashion are …show more content…
It will never be possible to fully achieve these principles in a way that benefits everyone, but the combination of separation of power, accountable and responsive representation and active and informed participation lays a suitable foundation for any democracy to be built upon. Without reinforcement by strong legislatures, multi-party systems and educational institutions, these principles would never come to fruition, ultimately leaving the people’s power to crumble into

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