Class 10 Political Science Chapter Notes of “Outcomes of Democracy”: These notes are meat for short revision especially during exam preparation team. Click here to download detailed comprehensive notes of the chapter “Outcomes of Democracy”
I. Assessing the Outcomes of Democracy
How do we assess the outcomes of democracy?
Democratic governance as the preferred form of government
- Democracy encourages citizen equality.
- It upholds the individual’s dignity.
- It raises the standard of decision-making.
- It offers a mechanism for resolving disagreements.
- It allows for mistakes to be corrected.
- The support for democracy is stronger than for alternatives such as monarchy, military rule or religious leadership.
- Today, more than a hundred countries follow democratic practices such as having formal constitutions, holding elections, having political parties and guaranteeing citizens’ rights.
- Even though democratic countries vary in their social situations, economic successes and cultures, democracy can address all socio-economic and political issues.
Political outcomes of democracy: accountable, responsive and legitimate government
- The political outcome expected of a democracy is a government that is accountable to the citizens and responsive to their needs and expectations.
- Ensures that decision making processes are based on fixed norms and transparent procedures
- Provides citizens with the right and the means to scrutinise the decision-making process
- Follows standard procedures and is accountable to the people
- Creates opportunities for people to keep elected officials accountable and participate in decision-making as they see fit
- Even though democratic governments have a poor track record of sharing information with people, they far outperform non-democratic regimes in this regard.
- Corruption is a major problem in democracies, but there is no proof that non-democratic governments are immune to it.
- A democratic government is a legitimate government. A democratic government can be slow, less efficient and not always responsive or clean, but it is the people’s government.
- Non-democratic regimes make decisions quickly, but they can make decisions that the people do not want, resulting in problems.
- The power of a democracy to generate its own support is an important outcome.
II. The Role of Democracy in Reducing Inequalities
What is the role of democracy in reducing economic inequalities?
Economic growth and development
- A country’s economic growth depends on the size of its population, on the global economic situation, on cooperation from other countries and the country’s economic policies.
- From 1950 to 2000, dictatorships had a slightly higher economic growth rate.
- Among less developed nations, the difference in economic development rates between dictatorships and democracies is minimal.
- Overall, democracy cannot be said to be a guarantee of economic progress. However, we may anticipate that it will not lag far behind dictatorships in economic progress.
Reduction of inequality and poverty
- More than achieving overall economic development, democracies should be expected to minimise economic disparities.
- A small group of ultra-rich people control a disproportionate amount of wealth and jobs.
- Their share of the country’s total income has been rising.
- Poor people’s incomes have been declining, making it harder for them to meet their basic needs.
- Even though all that is true, democracies are increasingly reducing the number of people suffering hunger and poverty.
- Democracies offer a system and an outlet for various groups to express themselves.
- This mechanism of confronting differences in democracies prevent the differences from escalating into violent conflicts.
- Democracies may have a slow economic growth rate, but their ability to handle social differences, divisions and conflicts is a definite plus point.
- Democracy is not simply rule of majority. It is a system in which the majority must always work with the minority to serve as representatives of the society as a whole.
- Rule by majority also does not imply rule by a majority party in terms of religion, ethnicity or linguistic group.
- Rule by majority implies that various people and groups can form a majority at different times in different decisions or elections.
Dignity and freedom of the citizens
- Democracy stands much superior to any other form of government because democracy guarantees dignity and freedom to every individual.
- The principle of gender equality is also recognised in a democracy, after long struggles led by women demanding respect and fair treatment.
- The concept of individual freedom and dignity does not always have a legal and moral backing in a non-democratic system as it does in a democracy.
- In India, democracy has strengthened the claims of the oppressed and discriminated castes for equal status and opportunities.
- People’s complaints and criticisms are the strongest possible testimony of democracy’s progress.
- This demonstrates that people have now developed the awareness and the capacity to critically scrutinise the power figures in their country.
- Most individuals today believe that their vote makes a difference to the way the government is run and also to their own self-interest.
- This shows the success of a democracy with regards to its social outcome.