Democracy Paper

Democracy is political regime where people are the only one legitimate source of power. The Government is realized by people directly (direct democracy) or indirectly through elected representatives (representative democracy).

Direct democracy is the complex of organization of state power where the main decisions of state and civil affairsare approved by all citizens on the referendums and meetings, etc.

The main feature of democracy is participation of citizens in formation of bodies of state power, control over their activities, impact on the common for all decisions on the basis of general, equal suffrage.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) informs that there are only 30 fully democratic countries in the world. EIU analyzed 167 countries using five parameters in political regimes: electoral process, government work,  level of political participation,  political culture, and human freedoms.

Such European countries as Iceland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, and Luxembourg are the most democratic although there are two more on the other side of the Earth: New Zealand and Australia.

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There is a formula: Iceland - a happy state. In Iceland, the volcano of direct democracy erupts.  Since the beginning of the X century or maybe earlier, in “ice Iceland”, people used to solve all questions on the meetings or once per year discuss the most important problems on the nationwide discussion. Parliament appeared  in 1845. It was formed in Iceland based on European traditions. The country is a parliamentary republic. There is also president which can be elected every four years.

Direct democracy is practiced in Iceland so far. Until the recent days, everything was relatively quiet. From the beginning of 2000, economic boom started and then, it changed into the deep crisis.

In Iceland, there is direct democracy that means that there are many referendums even including financial questions. New constitution was formed by free creation of citizens in the Internet. It involved such questions as refusal to pay foreign debts and criminal cases against the leaders of the big banks and corporations that have brought the country to the crisis, easy access to credit, secured ban investments abroad.

Local newspapers of America, Canada, and Europe commented news from Iceland with sympathy sometimes crying, "That would be us so".

The work on new constitution began in February 2011. Since that time, citizens of Iceland were discussing on-line every phrase of constitution on government web-sites and also in social networks. They offered their own propositions and new ideas to make constitution better. So we can see that democracy in this country is well-developed.  People have all the rights and freedom; the main thing is that they collaborate with their government.

India takes 35-th place among all countries (imperfect democracy). India perhaps is a striking example how country can combine economic modernization and development of democratic institutions. Country became independent in 1947 and has chosen democracy. For country that was a colony in the past, the main aim was to create the necessary conditions for normal life for huge masses of people many of whom were below the poverty line.  Huge achievement for Indian democracy was forming the basis for civil society. In India, there are thousands of non-governmental, civil, and private organizations. All of them fight for vital interests of different groups of population. Furthermore, those organizations promote the formation of better social and political climate in the country. Such process has not spread on all groups of population especially the lower, but it has some progress as society can generate ideas or influence policy and economy.

Special feature of Indian democratic system is that state power found expression in legislation ensuring the representation of the most disadvantaged underclass (scheduled castes and tribes) in parliament and state legislatures by introducing them to the relevant quota in these bodies. Since 1992, the Constitution provides the reservation of seats for these layers in village municipalities. This contributed to familiarizing the lower strata with social and political activity.

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American Bill of rights made large impact on the formation of the legal status of the person and the citizen in the Constitution of India. The constitutional principle of equality, which consists of prohibition of  "immunity" and discrimination in religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth is especially important in India.

By implementing this constitutional principle, IndianRepublic aims to eliminate castes, religious, and other prejudices that serve as a basis for discrimination of millions of people.

Tunisia is country with young democracy. Very soon, after the fall of the previous government in January 2011, Tunisia started to develop the plan for the building of an open and democratic society. Development in Tunis was focused on such priority areas: the fight against impunity and improving accountability, the rule of law and democratic society, the promotion of economic, social, and cultural rights, and reducing inequality and poverty.

Meanwhile, some experts presented recent elections in Tunisia as a sign of "Arab democracy." Tunisians have shattered the myth that in the Arab world, there can only be authoritarian form of government and that freedom leads to anarchy. Politicians have always thought that a social explosion will happen first in the Arab countries such as Egypt, Syria, and Yemen, but everything began in Tunisia. There is rather low unemployment and a relatively high standard of living, good education, and quality health care. Now, Tunisia has the experience in building a democratic state.

Generally, those three countries, namely Iceland, India, and Tunisia have specific democracy. When in one country democracy is almost perfect, in other countries, it has a lot of difficulties. The main thing is that not all people understand what is democracy, its meaning, and positive aspects.

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Democracy is just beginning its formation in Tunisia; this is a step forward to understanding the international community and obtaining its support in opening new possibilities for the development of tourism, trade, and other important sectors of the economy which, in turn, will lead to the prosperity of the state.

Although the Indian democracy is very young, its notion is different from usual, because Indian culture with its characteristics contributed to the political regime. Some of its elements are different  from the way  the developed countries of the world understand democracy. This is the main problem of inequality of citizens, the lack of middle class, and extreme precipice between rich and poor Indians.

Comparing the previous two countries, democracy of Iceland is completely developed.  Government tries to keep step with the time, but a dramatic change and transition to a new stage of development of this form of political rule is a consequence of the crisis of representatives and distrust of ordinary citizens to their political power. There are positive and negative moments. The positive point is the realization of the principle of direct democracy. The negative point is that realization can cause deep political crisis with complex consequences which, in turn, may result in the change of the form of government through armed uprisings of citizens and internal conflicts ultimately leading to unacceptable regimes.

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