Free Preconditions for Electoral Democracy Essay Sample
These essays define democracy as an effectual electoral democracy. This ensures that the citizens of a state have control over the policies and personnel of the government, and ensures that the set policies satisfy citizen's needs and interests.
As indicated in the table above economic status and political status are prerequisite conditions for electoral democracy. An example of countries with upper income levels such as Seychelles, Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa has effective electoral democracy. On the other hand, others such as Lesotho, Senegal, Zambia, and Cape Verde have lower middle economic status yet they have electoral democracy. Furthermore, Benin, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Mali have low economic status, but they enjoy electoral democracy. Therefore, countries that are partly free and free political have a higher likelihood of experiencing electoral democracy compared to countries that are not free politically. However, political and economic status condition is necessary, but not sufficient precondition for electoral democracy. The other preconditions include a functioning state, accord for nationhood, as well as democratic culture.
A functioning state is the primary prerequisite for electoral democracy. This can be established by a functioning state which has the power to enforce its law as well as administer its policy within its sovereign boundary. When there is an absence of a functioning state, government in place lack mandate of ensuring an electoral process that is free and fair. There are a considerable number of countries as indicated in the table above that cannot enforce its legislation or the injunction of the government cannot extend further than the capital city. These countries may experience free and fair elections, but they cannot enjoy effective electoral democracy because popular influence or control over regime is futile where the administration itself has no or little control over its own country.
Minimum level of accord on nationhood inside the nation's borders is the other significant precondition for effectual electoral democracy. Democracy implies rule by the people, therefore, the administration should put in place agreement that defines who constitute the people, as well as the subjects and agents of that ruling. The absence of an agreement will aggravate societal divisions rather than reconciliation of societies, more so in situations where one community dominates others permanently (Stephan and Skatch 18). Effective electoral democracy should foster togetherness in order for it to withstand societal divisions that mat result due to winner-take-all outcomes.
The third prerequisite for effective electoral democracy is democratic culture. This implies a set of popular dispositions and attitudes that ensure that the growth of democratic institutions and structures. For electoral democracy to function effectively an administration should nurture democratic culture. It is evident that the prevailing opportunities that ensure political involvement through which individuals build up the capacities to utilize them effectively, as well as education for democracy can only be achieved through practice. Conversely, there are individual characteristics and beliefs system that hinders the establishment and growth of democratic institutions. As such, the effect of individual belief systems on democracy should be reduced in order to make certain that the efforts of ensuring democratic institutions are supported and not hindered, by factors that can be controlled.
Democracy in Senegal
Since 2000, Senegal as a Muslim state is categorized by authorities as a democratic state. The environment that necessitates the establishment of democracy is the presence of favorable institutional arrangement. This coupled by the state's ability to ensure the safeguard of human rights. The administration is guided by democratization policies as well as institutional frameworks that ensure protection of human rights. The evolutionary changes and success that have been witnessed in Senegal are a function of the policies undertaken by the government which include political system substantive democratization (Schmitter and Karl 81).
The focus of Senegalese administration is on constitutional framework, and as such yields democratic consolidation for the country. This is coupled by a pure parliamentary system of government that is adopted in Senegal. These systems of government coincide with the constitutional framework since the administration will majorities in the parliament that will help significantly in the implementation of programs. Such programs will reflect the majority of the needs and interests of the society. Furthermore, the system ensures the government rule with fewer difficulties in a multiparty setting. The parliament also acts as a watchdog for the interest of the society, as well as strict adherence to the provisions of the constitution. The executive will function and rule on the basis of the constitution. The system also provides for a system of government that is susceptible to a military coup, as well as lengthy party-government professions, which add know-how and allegiance to political society. This will strengthen democratic consolidation (Carothers 22).
The electoral body present in Senegal is empowered by law to enforce the legislation without fear or favor. The execution of the mandate as stipulated in the constitution helps promote electoral democracy. The people rights and interests will be protected minimizing conflicts and dissatisfaction. During run off elections, for instance, incumbent president Abdulaeye Wade conceded defeats when the electoral body announced the results. This illustrates a higher level of democracy in Senegal. The people of Senegal have confidence and trust on the way elections were conducted; hence no elections related violence was evident. The move indicates the presence of democratic institutional framework in the country, and as such, much of the operations of the government is democratic and has minimal individual biases.
The economic and political status of Senegal is low middle income and partly free respectively. Such combinations put the country in the league of those countries with electoral democracy. The country's political and economic status is a prerequisite for democracy. The country should move away from any aspect of autocratic rule in order to attain democratic consolidation. The country's constitution and political goodwill are the key determining factors of electoral democracy (Papaterra and Limongi 43). The country should nurture democratic culture so as to ensure electoral democracy is rooted and flourished.
The essay identifies four factors as preconditions for democracy. These include political and economic status, functioning state, accord for nationhood, and democratic culture. These factors are necessary in ensuring that an administration attains electoral democracy. As such, a country with young electoral democracy should put in place these conditions in order to nurture electoral democracy. Senegal is an example of Muslin state with leading democracy. This is attributed to factors such as democratic culture and functioning state. The state is functioning well with the guide of a constitutional framework that is supported by the populace together with political goodwill. The constitutional framework seeks to ensure safeguard of human rights, as well as provision of political freedoms. The people are left to decide at will an administration which gathers for their interests and needs. This will improve citizen's loyalty and confidence on the present administration.