Why People Think That Politics Can’t Be Free
A government is a collection of individuals or group of individuals governing an urban area, usually a country. They are the administrators of a country and their responsibility is to undertake the policies that will help the citizens to achieve their economic, social and cultural objectives. In most countries, these policies will be put into action by a constitution or law and this is where checks and balances are required. For instance, a president or prime minister must have the consent of the legislature before they can take any steps that would affect the constitution.
Most western countries have elected governments with free elections that are completed by a specified number of weeks. The executive is elected by members of parliament through voting and there are usually many parties running for a specific position. The leaders of these parties or coalitions represent the various interests that they represent. There is a balance of power between the different party leaders that keep the form of government stable and viable.
For many countries outside of the United States, the forms of government structures are considered to be representative democracy and the political system is called representative government. Representative democracy means that power lies with the governed and not with a ruling elite. Power is distributed according to the ability of each citizen to vote. Citizens are allowed to participate and have a say in policy making. There are a check and balance to prevent majoritarianism, which some people refer to as a form of mob rule. Because there are more than one power structure in each country, there are often coalitions or parties that cannot get along because of their differing beliefs.
A government must have a strong institution to protect its citizens from tyranny. A democracy has a duty to protect its people from poverty and crime because without social welfare programs, public education and health care, the country cannot grow. A central government must have the power to protect its people from climate change, nuclear weapons proliferation and other international threats. Without the ability to protect its people, a democratic government may find itself weak and powerless to protect its interests and cannot grow economically or politically.
Some individuals believe that all countries should have a centrally planned political system in order to be successful and avoid social democratic governments that can lead to tyranny. However, a centrally planned system is not always best for all nations or regions. Nations such as South Korea, Singapore, Canada and Taiwan have highly developed political systems with high levels of personal freedom and prosperity unlike many parts of the Middle East and North America. In addition, the combination of socialism and capitalism have led to corruption throughout the region, which is another key component of healthy societies.
All political systems are based on representative democracy. It was suggested by Machiavelli that leaders who do not have any regard for their fellow citizens will one day destroy democracy. History has shown that it is the ruled class that tends to overthrow legitimate governments. As long as humans live in complex civilizations, there will be intrigue, competition and politics. For those who are interested in exploring the philosophical side of human history, they may also want to research the works of Aristotle, Plato and Machiavelli to name a few.