Democracy and dictatorship are some of the aspects of government across the world. Generally, democracy refers to a government of the people and by the people, while dictatorship refers to a government by a powerful tyrannical political entity or person that regulates almost all aspects the citizens private and public behavior (Perez 279). Various social scientists have come up with strategies such as the continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship and the binary scales (DD Index) in a bid to assess democracy and dictatorship in different countries in the world (Wahman et al. 21). This essay argues that it is necessary to have a continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship as opposed to a simple binary scale, and also highlights the differences among dictatorship and democracy that a good measure of democracy ought to capture.
To begin with, a continuous measure of democracy promotes the institutionalization of democracy thus a fair and free voting process. Continuous measures of democracy ensure that any person can vie for any post and conduct their campaigns responsibly without enjoying the unfair advantage of domination or being disadvantaged (Perez 279). The voters, on the other hand, are entitled to the freedom to elect whoever they like without any influence. This is unlike in a dictatorial regime whereby the authorities use propaganda and intimidation during campaigns. If there are no continuous measures, therefore, a democracy may deteriorate into a dictatorship. This would be an unfortunate turn of events; hence, continuous measures of democracy are very crucial, as opposed to a simple binary one, since a government is able to regulate itself without interfering with the private decisions of individuals.
Secondly, a continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship is necessary in determining the attitudinal, behavioral and constitutional aspects of governance (Wahamn et al. 29). Such aspects have to be consolidated for a democracy to work. This is because a democracy encompasses the constitution, the attitudes and behaviors of the people and their leaders. Wahman et al. argue that if the three are balanced, then the democracy will work and the citizens will typically gain access to health, education and other basic services with ease (33). The only way that this can be made possible is through the continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship as opposed to a simple binary scale. This will ensure the achievement of a democracy in which the basic rights of the citizens are met. Research shows that those who live in environments where democracy is upheld have better chances of accessing basic services than those who live under dictatorial regimes. A continuous measure will therefore be instrumental in ensuring fairness for all human beings irrespective of where they live.
Also, a continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship promotes the success of any government. The checks and balances that are encouraged by the measure are instrumental in the maintenance of harmony, stability and reasonable use of government power; not misuse that leads to oppression, corruption and subjugation of the masses (Wahman et al. 26). The democratic system ensures that all arms of the government work harmoniously for the people who elected them and who trust that government power is in good hands. In that case, all decisions are expected to be made with the citizen in mind. In the process, the citizens would benefit, be happy and confident with their government. However, it is argued that if a dictatorial government reigns supreme, the citizens may conspire and turn against it, hence threatening its stability (Wahman et al. 30). This means that a democracy is the only way out. Therefore, if a democratic culture is not shaped by the necessary continuous measures, the success of any government would be at risk. For that reason, a simple binary scale would not be sufficient since it would not present a practical strategy to shape a democratic environment.
In addition, it is important to have a continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship instead of a binary scale because every nation hopes to achieve a democratic form of government. Achieving such kind of a government is a process that may take a certain period of time; hence, making a continuous measure more effective than a binary scale. It has often become an elusive dream for some countries to achieve democracy yet they badly need it. According to Wahman et al., unlike the United States, countries such as Russia, China and North Korea are still struggling to achieve this democracy (24). The researchers add that despite these countries having implemented seemingly fair electoral systems, the same people remain in power and exercise immense control on the media and almost all aspects of the citizens lives in their respective countries. As a result the people are oppressed yet have no way of voicing their concerns. If there were effective measures that would continuously assess democracy and dictatorship, the situation would not have gone this far. This demonstrates that simple binary measures are not enough; there is need for a continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship to avoid the escalation of dictatorial regimes. This will, in turn, promote democracies all over the world, hence numerous benefits to the common man.
Furthermore, democracy entails opportunity and freedom while dictatorship entails the lack of the same. In that case, democracy has to be promoted in whatever means possible. Democracy is the only way people can manage to overcome the various struggles of life such as poverty. Perez affirms that those who live under dictatorial governments view democracy as their only hope (279). The scholar notes that numerous citizens in third world countries, especially in Africa, often associate America with the notion of democracy. They view the American democracy as their role model where democracy is an ingrained culture and the opinion of the people matter to the government. The people of America, for instance, have a significant say in the decisions made by the government. This is unlike in these third world countries where the government of the day imposes its will upon the citizens, leaving them with little or no opportunity to make their lives better. According to Wahman et al., the dictatorship is a result of inadequate evaluation of the aspects of democracy and dictatorship (32). With continuous measure of the aspects of democracy and dictatorship, it would be possible to gradually eliminate dictatorship and achieve democracy. The simple binary scale may not adequately address the issues that must be given priority in the process of achieving a democracy. In a democracy, people have more protection and potential to uplift themselves due to the opportunities that are made available.
Finally, a good measure of democracy must capture a number of ideologies of democracy. The basic ones that it must capture include equality, freedom and control (Wahman et al. 23). This means that aspects such as individual liberty and the rule of law must be captured in the first place. These will ensure that the measure does not ignore basic human rights in relation to the constitution. Also, features such as competition, transparency, representation and participation must be captured so as to provide an objective measure of democracy versus dictatorship. Such features are representative of the differences among dictatorship and democracy. Nevertheless, they are necessary for the promotion of the appropriate environment.
In conclusion, it is clear that a continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship is necessary as opposed to a simple binary scale. This is because, as illustrated in this essay, the continuous measure promotes the success of any government, the institutionalization of democracy, determines the attitudes and behavior towards a countrys constitution and provides freedom and opportunities for the citizens. This is unlike the binary scale which is not as comprehensive. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to have a continuous measure of democracy and dictatorship.
Perez Soto, Carlos. "Democracy and Dictatorship". ATHENEAD, vol 15, no. 4, 2015, p. 279.
Wahman, Michael et al. "Authoritarian Regime Types Revisited: Updated Data in Comparative Perspective". Contemporary Politics, vol 19, no. 1, 2013, pp. 19-34.
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