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INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (MGT111)

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This is to inform that Graded Discussion Board (GDB) No. 02 will be opened on 8th July, 2013 for discussion and last date of discussion is 10th July, 2013.

Topic/Area for Discussion:  “Democracy

This Graded Discussion Board will cover first 36 lessons.

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Democracy is one of the founding ideologies and systems upon which Pakistan was established in 1947 as a nation-state, as envisaged by the founding father of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Pakistan is today a democratic parliamentary republic with its political system based on an elected form of governance.
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As of current status, Pakistan is also the fifth largest democracy in the world. However democracy failed exceptionally quickly after independence and has since become a facade for military and bureaucratic rule.
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Since its independence, Pakistan’s democratic system has fluctuated at various times throughout its political history, mainly due to feudalism, elitist bureaucracy, political corruption, and the periodic coup d’états by the military establishment against weak civilian governments, resulting in the enforcement of martial law across the country (occurring in 1958, 1977 and 1999, and led by chief martial law administrator-generals Ayub Khan, Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf respectively).[6] Some of the Islamisation policies introduced during Zia-ul-Haq’s martial era also controversially undermined local democratic and secularist movements.
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Democracy is a form of government under which the power to alter the laws and structures of government lies, ultimately, with the citizenry. Under such a system, legislative decisions are made by the people themselves or by representatives who act through the consent of the people, as enforced by elections and the rule of law.

Democracy is a tender topic for a writer: like motherhood and apple pie it is not to be criticized. One will risk being roundly condemned if he, or she, points out the serious bottleneck that is presented when a community attempts, through the democratic process, to set plans for positive social action. A man is not permitted to hesitate about its merits, without the suspicion of being a friend to tyranny, that is, of being a foe to mankind?

The notions of government and of democracy are independent notions and do not, from what I can see, depend on one another. What is likely required for the masses of people, as we see in “modern” world societies, is an established system of government. Where there is a need for an established system of government, it will likely naturally come about; and do so, whether, or not, it has the consent of the people, — real or imagined. Putting aside, for the moment, the arguments of Hobbes and Locke, I believe, on the basis of plain historical fact, that governments come about naturally and maintain themselves naturally without the general will of the people; indeed, I believe, with many others I suspect, that our long established democratic governments in the world (the United States and Canada being among them) did not come about by the general will of the people, at all; nor is it necessary that it should it be maintained by the will of the people.

One should not conclude, therefore, that democracy is necessary for good government: It may not be. What is necessary for optimum prosperity is a state of acquiescence, which, as it happens, is the hallmark of western democracies. It may be, that the only thing needed is but the trappings of democracy.

An individual or group of individuals may take and maintain power by the use of coercive force. From history we can see that this is the usual way by which power is gained, and maintained. However, it has long been understood that people might come together and explicitly agree to put someone in power. The best of the thinkers saw a process, — call it democracy — by which groups might bloodlessly choose a leader. That each of the governed should have a say, or least an opportunity to have a say, is a high flying ideal; but any system by which the peace is kept is an admirable system and democracy, such as it has evolved, has proven, in many cases, to be just such a system.

Democracy is government by the people; a form of government in which the sovereign power resides in the people as a whole, and is exercised either directly by them (as in the small republics of antiquity) or by officers elected by them. In modern use it vaguely denotes a social state in which all have equal rights, without hereditary or arbitrary differences of rank or privilege. Walter Bagehot gave it a more uncelestial definition: “Each man is to have one twelve-millionth share in electing a Parliament; the rich and the wise are not to have, by explicit law, more votes than the poor and stupid; nor are any latent contrivances to give them an influence equivalent to more votes.”

It is from the suffix, “-ocracy” by which we might determine the operative meaning of the larger word, “democracy”; it is the indicator of the dominant, superior, or aspiring class who would rule; it is derived from the Greek word kratos, meaning strength or power. Any word might be added to this suffix, which will then indicate the type of rule, such as: plutocracy (rule by the wealthy), ochlocracy (mob-rule), angelocracy (government by angels), etc. Democracy is the rule by, or the dominion of, the people; it comes from the Greek word, demos. It is often referred to as popular government. Democracy, historically speaking, is to be compared with monarchy, rule of one; or with aristocracy, rule of the “best-born,” or rule of the nobles.

Whatever its origins (and we will consider its origins) democracy has come to mean a principle or system to which most all political parties of the western world, no matter their political beliefs, would subscribe. It is politics. It goes beyond the periodic act of voting; it is characterized by participation in government, viz., involving members of the community in governmental decisions, allowing them to take part in anything at all which amounts to a public demonstration of popular opinion.

1 – Grecian Democracy:-
The first democracy on record, is that which was practiced in ancient Athens. In his capacity as a history writer, Aristotle, in his work, The Athenian Constitution (350 BC), writes that the Athenians practiced democracy only to the extent of putting and keeping in power members of a very exclusive group, a group which formed but a minority in the universal group we stylize as society. The Athenian constitution was oligarchical, in every respect. The poorer classes were the serfs of the rich. They cultivated the lands of the rich and paid rent. The whole country was in the hands of nine magistrates, called archons, who were elected according to qualifications of birth and wealth. These ruling magistrates held their positions for life, except for that latter period when they served for a term of ten years. In time, this Greek notion of democracy was set aside in favour of the draw.

“… the method of election in the choice of archons is replaced by lot; some way must be found to keep the rich from buying, or the knaves from smiling, their way into office. To render the selection less than wholly accidental, all those upon whom the lot falls are subjected, before taking up their duties, to a rigorous dokimasia, or character examination, conducted by the Council or the courts. The candidate must show Athenian parentage on both sides, freedom from physical defect and scandal, the pious honoring of his ancestors, the performance of his military assignments, and the full payment of his taxes; his whole life is on this occasion exposed to challenge by any citizen, and the prospect of such a scrutiny presumably frightens the most worthless from the sortition. If he passes this test the archon swears an oath that he will properly perform the obligations of his office, and will dedicate to the gods a golden statue of life-size if he should accept presents or bribes.”

Durant in Our Oriental Heritage continued to write that the head man, the archon basileus, must “nine times yearly … obtain a vote of confidence from the Assembly” and any citizen may bring him to task for an inappropriate act of his. “At the end of his term all his official acts, accounts, and documents” are reviewed by a special board, logistai, which is responsible to the Council. “Severe penalties, even death, may avenge serious misconduct.”

Grecian democracy, however, such as it was, was soon covered over with the murk of the middle ages. Democracy’s re-flowering in the world, in respect to the rights of the people, first appeared in England with the Glorious Revolution of 1688. A study of an era known as The Enlightenment, is the study of the beginnings of of modern democracy5.

2 – The Enlightenment:-
Out of the Dark Ages, in gradual awaking stirs, came the Age of Reason. The enlightenment was fully established and growing vigorously by the eighteenth century. As the shackles of oppression, so firmly clamped on during the middle ages, became loose, men sought to apply reason to religion, politics, morality, and social life. With the coming of the enlightenment men began to express their minds; no longer were most all men cowed by the great mystery of the universe, and, their minds, through ignorance, ruled by fears: The Enlightenment was a time when human beings pulled themselves out of the medieval pits of mysticism. It was a spontaneous and defused movement which fed on itself and led to the great scientific discoveries from which we all benefit today. Beliefs in natural law and universal order sprung up, which not only promoted scientific findings and advancements of a material nature; but, which, also drove the great political thinkers of the time, such as: Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733), Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu (1689-1755), Voltaire (1694-1766), Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-88), David Hume (1711-76) and, of course the brightest political light of all, John Locke (1632-1704).

3 – Representative Government:-
In England, Edward the First, in 1295, with a view to dealing with his impecuniosity, issued a writ to the sheriff of Northhampton. The people, of all things, were refusing to pay taxes and they were becoming belligerent. Edward was getting advise to the effect that it might be better to sit down with the people, or rather their representatives, than to let loose the royal troops. Letting the troops loose would be an act which would destroy the country’s riches, a share of which the king wanted for himself. Thus, we would have seen the royal messenger riding out from the king’s castle to deliver this royal writ to the sheriff of Northhampton. This royal writ of Edward’s had the Latin words, elegi facis, meaning that the persons who were to sit on the people’s Council (the beginnings of parliament) were to be elected headmen such as the burgesses and knights, and they were to have “full and sufficient power for themselves and the communities” which they represent; they were to come to Council — ready, to conduct and to conclude the important business of the land.

Now, one of the most fundamental questions of politics – whether of 1295, or of modern day – is this: Should the representative, sent to the legislature — assuming, in the first place, that he or she has canvassed the subject to be voted upon and all the far flung consequences of it — vote the way the majority of his constituents would have him vote; or, should he vote on the basis of what he thinks is right, no matter that it may run against the majority of what his constituents would like. Edmund Burke, a most brilliant political thinker, thought that the representative should vote his conscience.

“Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament. …
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion. …
The state includes the dead, the living, and the coming generations.”

4 – The Dilemma of Representative Government:-
Given human nature and the political process, full democracy, beyond the smallest group size, may simply not be workable, at all. Each of us has a right to cast a vote for an individual to represent us in the legislative assembly. The elected person then goes off to represent all of his constituents, whether they voted for him or not, indeed, whether they have even voted. How is he to look at issues and how is he to vote (assuming, for the moment, that he has a free vote in parliament). Should he vote on the basis of what he perceives the majority of his constituents want, right or wrong; or, as Burke suggests, does he vote his own conscience, vote as a “better and more informed person” than his average constituent; or does he, as it seems our system obliges, just vote the party line.

“Representative institutions are of little value, and may be a mere instrument of tyranny or intrigue, when the generality of electors are not sufficiently interested in their own government to give their vote, or, if they vote at all, do not bestow their suffrages on public grounds, but sell them for money, or vote at the beck of someone who has control over them or whom for private reasons they desire to propitiate. Popular election, as thus practised, instead of a security against misgovernment, is but an additional wheel in its machinery.” (John Stuart Mill, Consideration on Representative Government.)

The problem, as is so clearly set forth by Mill, is quite aside from the further and separate problem “that issues at stake in political life are too many and too complicated and that very many of them [issues] are actually unknown both to the representatives and to the people represented.”

It should be remembered, too, that any decision made and action taken in an assembly of “our” representatives can be done on the barest majority of a group; which might have been elected on the barest majority of a popular vote; which majority of a popular vote, might well, and usually does, represent a minority of the population. How can it ever be stated that any particular government measure will accord with the wishes of the majority?

5 – Democracy In Action:-
In a monarchy, or, for that matter, any state where rule is carried out by a privileged class without consulting with the masses in any direct way, it was recognized, at least in the 18th and 19th centuries, that what was needed was a submissive, a confident and a stupid people. Such people in these earlier centuries existed in predominate numbers. Sadly, yet today, even as the 21st century dawns, it is rare, even in the western democracies, to find many people who are independently working through for themselves and taking fixed positions on important political concepts such as democracy, freedom and government. For democracy to work there must, as a prerequisite, be a people educated and be a people ready to inform themselves of the great issues which face them. Unfortunately, a politically educated public, this important ingredient to the proper working of democracy, is missing.

First off, it must be recognized, that the country is not run, at least not in between elections, with the executive checking with the people by way of referenda (as the Swiss do). However, the people who possess government power and who would like to keep it, are bound to proceed on the basis of popular opinion; the difficulty is that public opinion arises as a result of an agenda which is set by minority groups to which vote chasing politicians cow, a process which is generally aided and abetted by an ignorant press.

“[Proper political conclusions] cannot be had by glancing at newspapers, listening to snatches of radio comment, watching politicians perform on television, hearing occasional lectures, and reading a few books. It would not be enough to make a man competent to decide whether to amputate a leg, and it is not enough to qualify him to choose war or peace, to arm or not to arm, to intervene or to withdraw, to fight on or to negotiate. …

When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute. … the public opinion of masses cannot be counted upon to apprehend regularly and promptly the reality of things. There is an inherent tendency in opinion to feed upon rumors excited by our own wishes and fears.” (Lippmann, The Public Philosophy, p. 25.)

We should never hope or aim to choose a bully, but the elective process will give no guarantee that the people will not end up with one. Democracy, no matter its imperfections, is a way by which the people can bloodlessly turn out leaders; but, the democratic process will only work with the consent of the leaders. The best that can be expected of a constitutional democracy, the best that can be expected by any political system, is a process by which the people turn up a leader or leaders which are prepared to deal with both the bullies amongst us and those at our borders. Hopefully, the leader or leaders, so turned up by the “democratic process,” do not turn out to be a worst set of bullies then that which might exist in an ungoverned state. If, in the “democratic process,” an elected leader turns into a bully; well, then, one should not rely on democracy, except as a rallying cry, to turn him out. To turn out a powerful bully, great quantities of spilt blood are needed.

6 Democracy, Government, and Freedom:-
Democracy, in my view, is only compatible with a free economy; it can only exist, in substance, in an economy of ideas. Like a fish to water, democracy can only exists in a total atmosphere of freedom of action; it is completely incompatible with a system that provides for a governing authority with coercive power. If one accepts (anarchists, for example, do not) that a government, to some extent or other, is necessary for a civilized society, then it is to be recognized that the business of governing (as apart from the business of electing representatives) cannot be conducted in democratic matter. Lippmann deals with this problem:
“… there has developed in this century a functional derangement of the relationship between the mass of the people and the government. The people have acquired power which they are incapable of exercising, and the governments they elect have lost powers which they must recover if they are to govern. What then are the true boundaries of the people’s power?… They can elect the government. They can remove it. They can approve or disapprove its performance. But they cannot administer the government. They cannot themselves perform. They cannot normally initiate and propose the necessary legislation. A mass cannot govern.
Where mass opinion dominates the government, there is a morbid derangement of the true functions of power. The derangement brings about the enfeeblement, verging on paralysis, of the capacity to govern. This breakdown in the constitutional order is the cause of the precipitate and catastrophic decline of Western society. It may, if it cannot be arrested and reversed, bring about the fall of the West.” (Op. cit., pp. 14-5.)

The notions of freedom and of democracy, we might reasonably conclude, rest on the same foundations. This is not the case for the concepts of government and freedom: they will have nothing to do with one another: they work against one another. The principal business of government is the taking of freedom away from people; it is how government achieves its ends.

7 – The Press and Democracy:-
To begin with: those charged with informing the public, such as our journalists, should very carefully examine the “expert evidence” that is thrown their way. Our government experts must be cross-examined and asked if they have any interest in the outcome? The answer is that most of them do — if, for no other reason, than they are in the pay of the government, as either; bureaucrats, lodged in the upper end of the government echelon; or those resting in publicly funded universities; or those who are in the social welfare business.

The result of the syndrome is predictable, for, as the public conflict grows, people come to doubt expert pronouncements. Normally people primarily judge the propositions before them in a most obvious way, by their source. For example, “Of course she claims oil spills are harmless – she works for Exxon.” “Of course he says Exxon lies – he works for Nader.” When established experts lose credibility, the demagogues take over and we are left in our mass democracy with groups trying to outshout one another.

“When their views have corporate appeal, they take them to the public through advertising campaigns. When their views have pork-barrel appeal, they take them to legislatures through lobbying. When their views have dramatic appeal, they take them to the public through media campaigns. Groups promote their pet experts, the battle goes public, and quiet scientists and engineers are drowned in the clamor.”

Do the important issues get debated in the mass media? Some things seem to work well enough without any notice being taken by the public: and, often, these are the most simple and important workings of society such as family cooperation. In the media, as in human consciousness, one concern tends to drive out another. This is what makes conscious attention so scarce and precious. Our society needs to identify the facts of its situation more swiftly and reliably, with fewer distracting feuds in the media. This will free public debate for its proper task – judging procedures for finding facts, deciding what we want, and helping us choose a path toward a world worth living in.

8 – The People:-
I now deal with the concept, “the people”: and, in particular Burke’s notion that it consists of not just the aggregate of living persons, but; “those that are dead and those who are to be born.”

“That is why young men die in battle for their country’s sake and why old men plant trees they will never sit under.

“This invisible, inaudible, and so largely nonexistent community gives rational meaning to the necessary objectives of government. If we deny it, identifying the people with the prevailing pluralities who vote in order to serve, as Bentham has it, “their pleasures and their security,” where and what is the nation, and whose duty and business is it to defend the public interest? Bentham leaves us with the state as an arena in which factions contend for their immediate advantage in the struggle for survival and domination. Without the invisible and transcendent community to bind them, why should they care for posterity? And why should posterity care about them, and about their treaties and their contracts, their commitments and their promises. Yet without these engagements to the future, they could not live and work; without these engagements the fabric of society is unraveled and shredded.” (Lippmann, Op. cit., p. 36.)

9 – Virtual Representation:-
Edmund Burke was an exponent of “virtual representation.”9 The idea is that – those who do not have the franchise or those who cannot have it by custom or law (i.e., for reasons such as they are infants; or, indeed, are unborn) — are, nonetheless, represented by those exercising government power. When one thinks it through, one is bound to come to the conclusion that it is pretty presumptuous to strike on a legislative course, not knowing the degree or type of impact which such a course will have on those generations which stretch out (we hope) much beyond that time which will mark the current generation’s departure from this life.

In the days prior to 1832, great large populated areas, for example, Manchester in England, were not represented by a seat in parliament; while little villages, particularly in the south of England, had a seat, sometimes more than one. While some of the larger county seats were somewhat democratic, the little southern village seats were totally in the pockets of the local lords.10 The Great Reform Bill of 1832 fundamentally redefined the electoral districts, thus came the end of the pocket boroughs.11 Since 1832, Britain (and, thus, in modern day Canada) there exists a permanent commission on electoral boundaries.

Democracy in Pakistan

In the beginning, Musharraf got a God-given opportunity, but unfortunately he lost it. When the corruption-ridden Nawaz Sharif regime was ousted, he was widely acclaimed as a hero by the masses in Pakistan, as if a Messiah has descended upon them from heaven to solve all their problems. But his later performance constantly decreased his support.

All the previous governments were supporting Taliban against Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. Under heavy American pressure, his turnaround of this policy was hailed in the West but loathed by the Pakistani masses, which see him as a traitor of Pakistani national interests, as his policy resulted in bringing the Northern Alliance into power, which had never been friendly to Pakistan. The first act of a Minister of the Alliance was to fly to India direct from the U.N. sponsored conference in Germany and issue a joint statement with India against Pakistan.

After betraying Taliban, he betrayed all those Mujahedeen who were fighting for Kashmir's cause since 1948 for the implementation of U.N. resolution of 1948 and 1949 for a free and fair plebiscite under U.N. supervision. He did this to pacify and please India and to present his credentials of faithfulness to the United States in accordance with his January 12 speech promises. Thus he succeeded in demoralizing all Kashmir Mujahedeen, to whom he had called as 'freedom fighters' in his earlier meetings with Vajpayee in Agra.

His record of betrayals continued further to encompass his previous colleagues and Generals. He silently sacked all of them who had brought him into power, like Gen. Usmani, ex-Karachi corps commander, ISI chief and several others. He took away the Islamabad corps from the control of Gen. Aziz, who had deposed Nawaz Sharif in a military coup on the ground while Musharraf was hanging in the air, about ten minutes away from his probable death. Gen. Aziz was duped by a promotion to a higher rank of a toothless ceremonial position. He made all these personnel changes after firmly securing his own position by extending his own expired tenure as Commander-in-Chief.

The Economist has summarized his 'achievements' in the following words: "In three years as Pakistan's leader, General Musharraf has largely bleached out the Islamist colour given to the armed forces by a former dictator, Zia ul Haq. The top ranks have been purged; many lower-level officers with over-zealous views are being discreetly retired."

The secularists have been lauding him as a Pakistani Ataturk. Islamists regard it as a betrayal of 'the ideology of Pakistan'. The Economist has confirmed this betrayal that in three years he 'has largely bleached out the Islamist colour'.

His record of betrayals, as seen by the Pakistani public, is too long. Finally, he betrayed democracy. Even his supporters in the Western media started criticizing him and dubbed his referendum as 'bogus'. Now, in the eyes of a common man in Pakistan, he looks like a power-hungry General bent upon perpetuating his dictatorial hold, ruling the country on secular lines, throwing the 'ideology of Pakistan' in the dustbin like Ataturk, encroaching upon the freedom of religious education in Madressahs and thus acting as the most faithful servant of American imperialism.

The conclusion is that Musharraf, despite all his sincerity for the country and a clean record, untarnished by any allegations of corruption, is marching towards his increasing alienation from his own countrymen. Thus he is proving the truth of the dictum that there have been very few benevolent and successful dictators in history and he will not be one of them. This is the best example of how dictatorship, as a form of government, alienates itself from the aspirations of the people under their rule.

The crux of the problem does not lie in the individuality of any leader. It is the 'System' or the 'Process' that counts. Through what Process one has emerged as a leader will be a decisive factor to lead a country out of trouble and turmoil.

The world has ultimately come to one conclusion after experimenting with different forms of government in history. Monarchy, Oligarchy, military or civil Dictatorships and similar other forms of the government have all failed, irrespective of the sincere wishes of the individual leaders who came to the fore through any of these Processes.

In line with the lessons of history and despite all its past experiences of failure, there is no other messianic way out to lead Pakistan toward a progressive state except to establish the roots of democracy firmly. We should examine the causes of failure and the ways and means to rectify them.

It has been ruled by Generals for more than half of its history. They came in the name of rooting out the corruption of the politicians but actually they weeded of the seeds of democracy from the country. Instead of believing in democracy, the people started to believe in the forthcoming miracles of some incoming Messiah from the ranks of soldiers. In the end they always found themselves more disappointed by the 'short-sighted' Generals than by the 'corrupt' politicians.

Secondly, mass illiteracy is mentioned as a basic cause of failure. But this is not the case. Even an illiterate human being has his own concept of moral values, his own likes and dislikes, his own standards of right and wrong, his own sense of good and evil. He can take a decision concerning what is good for him, for his family and for his country. Lack of education does not prevent him from taking a right decision. Lack of character, integrity and moral sense make the real difference. If he is a responsible man with the fear of God instilled in him as a true and pious Muslim should have, he will make a responsible decision to vote for an honest and God-fearing leader without any fear or favor of his local landlord in a village, despite his illiteracy and lack of education.

Therefore, for the success of democracy in a Muslim country like Pakistan depends on the success of the efforts towards the implementation of the ideology of Pakistan, instead of driving them out toward secularization of the country, as the Pakistani Ataturk, Musharraf, is trying to do. The Islamization of the country will not make people religious fanatics but will train them to be responsible citizens to choose honest leaders in elections to root out corruption and to work for a modern progressive state.

The third ingredient necessary for the success of democracy in Pakistan is to emancipate the rural areas from the clutches of the local landlords, i.e. to take steps for the abolition of 'Jagirdari' System. Religious scholars like Maudoodi and other Ulema have long ago issued religious decrees i.e. Fatwas for their abolition. Their point is to investigate the origins of landlords in our country. Most of them will be found to have gained rights on the lands as awards from the colonial British masters. They got these rewards for acting as traitors, who sided and supported the British betraying the common interests of the ordinary people.

Indian masses are also illiterate and uneducated like the masses in Pakistan. But the power of landlords has been broken over there by the successive Indian governments. As a result, it is now recognized as the second largest democracy in the world after the U.S., while Pakistan, until recently, was defined as a rogue state. Against all such expectations, Musharraf has displayed no enthusiasm toward any such reform of landlordism.

Fourthly, he was not found serious or sincere enough for the accountability of the corrupt politicians and the bureaucrats. He allowed the big fish to escape away from the net. After freeing the main culprit of corruption, Nawaz Sharif, to whom the Court had sentenced to death, he is now trying to catch the small fishes. But, in this process, he has lost all creditability.

If the elections would have been held after the accountability of corrupt politicians without his bogus referendum, there was some hope that the leaders elected through such Process would ultimately have been able to save the country.

Fifthly, an important phenomenon on the political horizon of Pakistan needs to be observed carefully. Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have been elected twice to the seat of power. It means, despite all the illiteracy and the hold of local landlords in rural areas, a change of government had been effectively taking place. Whenever their governments were found guilty of inefficiency and involved in corruptions, people threw them out of power. The influence of local landlords and their own lack of education and illiteracy did not prevent them from making their own judgment of the prevailing situation and to act according to their observations and experiences under different governments. This fact throws light upon the necessity of one more ingredient for the success of democracy in Pakistan.

This sixth ingredient is concerned with the period of elections and the period for the Prime Ministers. In this regard, the system prevailing in Japan is very successful and that should be adopted for Pakistan. The term of office for the Prime Minister is two years and for the elected Diet or the legislative bodies' members is four years, but country-wide elections are held every two years for fifty percent of the legislative bodies' seats. With a gap of two years, half of the Diet members are elected for four years. The term of the remaining uncontested half members would expire after two years, when they can be elected again for four years.

A period of two years is quite enough to draw conclusions. The popularity or the efficiency of every government comes to the fore very clearly. If the people are given a choice for elections every two years, there would be no need for the President or the military to remove any corrupt or inefficient, unpopular Prime Minister, as in practice, Pakistan has experienced change of governments after about every 2 years during the period after the demise of Gen. Zia-ul Haq. Instead of military coups every now and then, new elections every 2 years would wipe out the corrupt politicians and thus the democratic process and its traditions will be established firmly. In addition to the accountability in courts, this accountability through elections will provide a double check. Besides, the Press freedom, which Pakistan is already enjoying, also provides a strong check against political and bureaucratic scandals.

I had given this suggestion to Moinuddin Haider, the present Home Minister, during his visit to this country as a guest of Japanese Foreign Ministry, when I played host for him in a five-star hotel on behalf of Pakistan Association, Kansai, in Kobe. He joked that he will no more remain Governor of Sindh if he talked of such things. But I hope now he can remain as Home Minister if such a system is introduced in Pakistan on the pattern of Japanese democracy.

Monarchy or Aristocracy

It is a form of government in which power is in the hands of a small, privileged, ruling class.[

Dictatorship

A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic or authoritarian form of government in which a government is ruled by either an individual: a dictator, or an authoritarian party, as in an oligarchy. It has three possible meanings:

A Roman dictator was the incumbent of a political office of legislate of the Roman Republic. Roman dictators were allocated absolute power during times of emergency. Their power was originally neither arbitrary nor unaccountable, being subject to law and requiring retrospective justification. There were no such dictatorships after the beginning of the 2nd century BC, and later dictators such as Sulla and the Roman Emperors exercised power much more personally and arbitrarily.
A government controlled by one person, or a small group of people. In this form of government the power rests entirely on the person or group of people, and can be obtained by force or by inheritance. The dictator(s) may also take away much of its peoples' freedom.
In contemporary usage, dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state.

Oligarchy

It is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next.

What is the difference between Aristocracy, Oligarchy, Monarchy and democracy?

aristocracy-government run by best citizens
oligarchy-government ruled by a few powerful people
monarchy-rule by a king or queen
democracy-government ruled by the people, usually the majority

Yes, I  think Democracy is the best form of government – as compared to Dictatorship, Oligarchy, Monarchy or Aristocracy.

There are many reasons, like

Democracy can provide for changes in a government without violence. Another advantage of democracy is people feel a great sense of participation in the choosing of their Government and that makes people have a great sense of belonging in their society.

thanks Tariq bhai............!

Democracy is the best revenge

Our outgoing rulers were very fond of asserting that democracy was the best revenge. However, they forgot that the revenge can be taken not only by their party against dictators or assassins, but also by the people against them for gross misgovernance. Everyone felt the PPP would be out of government, but few had predicted a complete whitewash.
The great benefit of the just-concluded elections has been two-fold: firstly, the polls were held at the right time, setting the precedent of the government completing its full term. Secondly, the ouster of the government has brought home to the masses their power, and the realization that if rulers misbehave, they can be shunted out, nay pulverized, at elections. A lesson once bought is twice taught, and so it is not likely to be forgotten by future rulers. 
This is a good occasion to pay tribute to the Election Commission for a job fairly well done. A lot more could and should have been done, but hopefully lessons have been learnt and, with the benefit of experience gained this time, in future defaulters of all types will be dealt with firmly. The media, including the dozens of TV channels, deserves all praise for creating public awareness of national issues as never before and assuring a huge turnout.
At the time of Mr. Zardari’s election as president, it could have been predicted that with the legal cases against him, he would indulge in a running battle with the apex court; and this is what actually happened. Because of his holding the offices of the president and (co)chairman of the ruling party, his power was so all-pervasive that none of his functionaries could do anything but acquiesce, prime ministers actually laying down their political lives at his feet. Two factors have hit the PPP really hard: the day-long loadshedding which destroyed industry resulting in relocation of factories abroad, throwing millions out of job; and rampant and unbelievable corruption at each and every level. The masses have inflicted humiliating electoral defeats on the majority of stalwarts of the PPP team for misgovernance. They should have realized that the mills of God grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine.
Imran Khan is the new kid on the block, his time out in the cold being finally over, and well-deservedly. He owes half of his popularity to his cricket and hospital-and-university building, and the other half to poor governance by his predecessors. He has galvanized the disillusioned youth of his country, and given them hope. It is not a coincidence that his maximum support is derived from the educated middle and upper middle classes of the biggest cities.
Imran’s popularity in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa(KP) is in no small measure due to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, which has been providing world-class cancer care to large numbers of people from KP; and they have not forgotten. Future rulers will have to remember that to attract votes they will have to show some merit, some achievement. It will not be enough to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth, or to belong to a well-entrenched party.
Imran Khan is getting the rulership of KP. Now is his chance to play a direct and active role to deal with this threat to the country’s survival, which has already cost the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians. It will not be an easy task, but there is no escape from it.
In the 1997 elections, PPP’s seats were reduced from over 100 to just 16, mainly because of public perception of Mr. Zardari’s corruption. This time has been a repeat of the same. The billions spent on full-page advertisements in all papers and on all channels have not saved the party from annihilation.
The PPP has been punished very heavily on account of Mr. Zardari in these two elections; it is reduced to a shell of itself. If the party is to survive, the PPP elders, if any have been left, have to seriously consider whether it can be run as a gaddinashini any longer without disintegrating, or whether it needs change at the top. And if so, who can be brought forwards to repair the damage, pacify the disillusioned jyalas, and lead the party out of its state of shell-shock. This may be easier said than done, seeing that PPP is a hereditary hierarchy.
Mian Nawaz Sharif has got the mandate once again. He talked about coexistence with Vajpayee at Lahore in 1999, but the effort was sabotaged by Kargil. In his third reincarnation he is talking of the importance of a solution of the country’s economic woes, for which he is willing to trade with India. This sounds like a plausible policy.
The elections have been relatively non-violent from the standard in this country today. Peaceful transfer of power is taking place. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

The writer is a former principal of the King Edward Medical College, and former president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan.

 

    Democracy is one of the founding ideologies and systems upon which Pakistan was established in 1947 as a nation-state, as envisaged by the founding father of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Pakistan is today a democratic parliamentary republic with its political system based on an elected form of governance.

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    As of current status, Pakistan is also the fifth largest democracy in the world. However democracy failed exceptionally quickly after independence and has since become a facade for military and bureaucratic rule.

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    Since its independence, Pakistan’s democratic system has fluctuated at various times throughout its political history, mainly due to feudalism, elitist bureaucracy, political corruption, and the periodic coup d’états by the military establishment against weak civilian governments, resulting in the enforcement of martial law across the country (occurring in 1958, 1977 and 1999, and led by chief martial law administrator-generals Ayub Khan, Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf respectively).[6] Some of the Islamisation policies introduced during Zia-ul-Haq’s martial era also controversially undermined local democratic and secularist movements.

        Democracy is a form of government under which the power to alter the laws and structures of government lies, ultimately, with the citizenry. Under such a system, legislative decisions are made by the people themselves or by representatives who act through the consent of the people, as enforced by elections and the rule of law.

 

    Democracy is a tender topic for a writer: like motherhood and apple pie it is not to be criticized. One will risk being roundly condemned if he, or she, points out the serious bottleneck that is presented when a community attempts, through the democratic process, to set plans for positive social action. A man is not permitted to hesitate about its merits, without the suspicion of being a friend to tyranny, that is, of being a foe to mankind?

 

    The notions of government and of democracy are independent notions and do not, from what I can see, depend on one another. What is likely required for the masses of people, as we see in “modern” world societies, is an established system of government. Where there is a need for an established system of government, it will likely naturally come about; and do so, whether, or not, it has the consent of the people, — real or imagined. Putting aside, for the moment, the arguments of Hobbes and Locke, I believe, on the basis of plain historical fact, that governments come about naturally and maintain themselves naturally without the general will of the people; indeed, I believe, with many others I suspect, that our long established democratic governments in the world (the United States and Canada being among them) did not come about by the general will of the people, at all; nor is it necessary that it should it be maintained by the will of the people.

 

    One should not conclude, therefore, that democracy is necessary for good government: It may not be. What is necessary for optimum prosperity is a state of acquiescence, which, as it happens, is the hallmark of western democracies. It may be, that the only thing needed is but the trappings of democracy.

 

    An individual or group of individuals may take and maintain power by the use of coercive force. From history we can see that this is the usual way by which power is gained, and maintained. However, it has long been understood that people might come together and explicitly agree to put someone in power. The best of the thinkers saw a process, — call it democracy — by which groups might bloodlessly choose a leader. That each of the governed should have a say, or least an opportunity to have a say, is a high flying ideal; but any system by which the peace is kept is an admirable system and democracy, such as it has evolved, has proven, in many cases, to be just such a system.

 

    Democracy is government by the people; a form of government in which the sovereign power resides in the people as a whole, and is exercised either directly by them (as in the small republics of antiquity) or by officers elected by them. In modern use it vaguely denotes a social state in which all have equal rights, without hereditary or arbitrary differences of rank or privilege. Walter Bagehot gave it a more uncelestial definition: “Each man is to have one twelve-millionth share in electing a Parliament; the rich and the wise are not to have, by explicit law, more votes than the poor and stupid; nor are any latent contrivances to give them an influence equivalent to more votes.”

 

    It is from the suffix, “-ocracy” by which we might determine the operative meaning of the larger word, “democracy”; it is the indicator of the dominant, superior, or aspiring class who would rule; it is derived from the Greek word kratos, meaning strength or power. Any word might be added to this suffix, which will then indicate the type of rule, such as: plutocracy (rule by the wealthy), ochlocracy (mob-rule), angelocracy (government by angels), etc. Democracy is the rule by, or the dominion of, the people; it comes from the Greek word, demos. It is often referred to as popular government. Democracy, historically speaking, is to be compared with monarchy, rule of one; or with aristocracy, rule of the “best-born,” or rule of the nobles.

 

    Whatever its origins (and we will consider its origins) democracy has come to mean a principle or system to which most all political parties of the western world, no matter their political beliefs, would subscribe. It is politics. It goes beyond the periodic act of voting; it is characterized by participation in government, viz., involving members of the community in governmental decisions, allowing them to take part in anything at all which amounts to a public demonstration of popular opinion.

 

    1 – Grecian Democracy:-

    The first democracy on record, is that which was practiced in ancient Athens. In his capacity as a history writer, Aristotle, in his work, The Athenian Constitution (350 BC), writes that the Athenians practiced democracy only to the extent of putting and keeping in power members of a very exclusive group, a group which formed but a minority in the universal group we stylize as society. The Athenian constitution was oligarchical, in every respect. The poorer classes were the serfs of the rich. They cultivated the lands of the rich and paid rent. The whole country was in the hands of nine magistrates, called archons, who were elected according to qualifications of birth and wealth. These ruling magistrates held their positions for life, except for that latter period when they served for a term of ten years. In time, this Greek notion of democracy was set aside in favour of the draw.

 

    “… the method of election in the choice of archons is replaced by lot; some way must be found to keep the rich from buying, or the knaves from smiling, their way into office. To render the selection less than wholly accidental, all those upon whom the lot falls are subjected, before taking up their duties, to a rigorous dokimasia, or character examination, conducted by the Council or the courts. The candidate must show Athenian parentage on both sides, freedom from physical defect and scandal, the pious honoring of his ancestors, the performance of his military assignments, and the full payment of his taxes; his whole life is on this occasion exposed to challenge by any citizen, and the prospect of such a scrutiny presumably frightens the most worthless from the sortition. If he passes this test the archon swears an oath that he will properly perform the obligations of his office, and will dedicate to the gods a golden statue of life-size if he should accept presents or bribes.”

 

    Durant in Our Oriental Heritage continued to write that the head man, the archon basileus, must “nine times yearly … obtain a vote of confidence from the Assembly” and any citizen may bring him to task for an inappropriate act of his. “At the end of his term all his official acts, accounts, and documents” are reviewed by a special board, logistai, which is responsible to the Council. “Severe penalties, even death, may avenge serious misconduct.”

 

    Grecian democracy, however, such as it was, was soon covered over with the murk of the middle ages. Democracy’s re-flowering in the world, in respect to the rights of the people, first appeared in England with the Glorious Revolution of 1688. A study of an era known as The Enlightenment, is the study of the beginnings of of modern democracy5.

 

    2 – The Enlightenment:-

    Out of the Dark Ages, in gradual awaking stirs, came the Age of Reason. The enlightenment was fully established and growing vigorously by the eighteenth century. As the shackles of oppression, so firmly clamped on during the middle ages, became loose, men sought to apply reason to religion, politics, morality, and social life. With the coming of the enlightenment men began to express their minds; no longer were most all men cowed by the great mystery of the universe, and, their minds, through ignorance, ruled by fears: The Enlightenment was a time when human beings pulled themselves out of the medieval pits of mysticism. It was a spontaneous and defused movement which fed on itself and led to the great scientific discoveries from which we all benefit today. Beliefs in natural law and universal order sprung up, which not only promoted scientific findings and advancements of a material nature; but, which, also drove the great political thinkers of the time, such as: Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733), Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu (1689-1755), Voltaire (1694-1766), Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-88), David Hume (1711-76) and, of course the brightest political light of all, John Locke (1632-1704).

 

    3 – Representative Government:-

    In England, Edward the First, in 1295, with a view to dealing with his impecuniosity, issued a writ to the sheriff of Northhampton. The people, of all things, were refusing to pay taxes and they were becoming belligerent. Edward was getting advise to the effect that it might be better to sit down with the people, or rather their representatives, than to let loose the royal troops. Letting the troops loose would be an act which would destroy the country’s riches, a share of which the king wanted for himself. Thus, we would have seen the royal messenger riding out from the king’s castle to deliver this royal writ to the sheriff of Northhampton. This royal writ of Edward’s had the Latin words, elegi facis, meaning that the persons who were to sit on the people’s Council (the beginnings of parliament) were to be elected headmen such as the burgesses and knights, and they were to have “full and sufficient power for themselves and the communities” which they represent; they were to come to Council — ready, to conduct and to conclude the important business of the land.

 

    Now, one of the most fundamental questions of politics – whether of 1295, or of modern day – is this: Should the representative, sent to the legislature — assuming, in the first place, that he or she has canvassed the subject to be voted upon and all the far flung consequences of it — vote the way the majority of his constituents would have him vote; or, should he vote on the basis of what he thinks is right, no matter that it may run against the majority of what his constituents would like. Edmund Burke, a most brilliant political thinker, thought that the representative should vote his conscience.

 

    “Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament. …

    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion. …

    The state includes the dead, the living, and the coming generations.”

 

    4 – The Dilemma of Representative Government:-

    Given human nature and the political process, full democracy, beyond the smallest group size, may simply not be workable, at all. Each of us has a right to cast a vote for an individual to represent us in the legislative assembly. The elected person then goes off to represent all of his constituents, whether they voted for him or not, indeed, whether they have even voted. How is he to look at issues and how is he to vote (assuming, for the moment, that he has a free vote in parliament). Should he vote on the basis of what he perceives the majority of his constituents want, right or wrong; or, as Burke suggests, does he vote his own conscience, vote as a “better and more informed person” than his average constituent; or does he, as it seems our system obliges, just vote the party line.

 

    “Representative institutions are of little value, and may be a mere instrument of tyranny or intrigue, when the generality of electors are not sufficiently interested in their own government to give their vote, or, if they vote at all, do not bestow their suffrages on public grounds, but sell them for money, or vote at the beck of someone who has control over them or whom for private reasons they desire to propitiate. Popular election, as thus practised, instead of a security against misgovernment, is but an additional wheel in its machinery.” (John Stuart Mill, Consideration on Representative Government.)

 

    The problem, as is so clearly set forth by Mill, is quite aside from the further and separate problem “that issues at stake in political life are too many and too complicated and that very many of them [issues] are actually unknown both to the representatives and to the people represented.”

 

    It should be remembered, too, that any decision made and action taken in an assembly of “our” representatives can be done on the barest majority of a group; which might have been elected on the barest majority of a popular vote; which majority of a popular vote, might well, and usually does, represent a minority of the population. How can it ever be stated that any particular government measure will accord with the wishes of the majority?

 

    5 – Democracy In Action:-

    In a monarchy, or, for that matter, any state where rule is carried out by a privileged class without consulting with the masses in any direct way, it was recognized, at least in the 18th and 19th centuries, that what was needed was a submissive, a confident and a stupid people. Such people in these earlier centuries existed in predominate numbers. Sadly, yet today, even as the 21st century dawns, it is rare, even in the western democracies, to find many people who are independently working through for themselves and taking fixed positions on important political concepts such as democracy, freedom and government. For democracy to work there must, as a prerequisite, be a people educated and be a people ready to inform themselves of the great issues which face them. Unfortunately, a politically educated public, this important ingredient to the proper working of democracy, is missing.

 

    First off, it must be recognized, that the country is not run, at least not in between elections, with the executive checking with the people by way of referenda (as the Swiss do). However, the people who possess government power and who would like to keep it, are bound to proceed on the basis of popular opinion; the difficulty is that public opinion arises as a result of an agenda which is set by minority groups to which vote chasing politicians cow, a process which is generally aided and abetted by an ignorant press.

 

    “[Proper political conclusions] cannot be had by glancing at newspapers, listening to snatches of radio comment, watching politicians perform on television, hearing occasional lectures, and reading a few books. It would not be enough to make a man competent to decide whether to amputate a leg, and it is not enough to qualify him to choose war or peace, to arm or not to arm, to intervene or to withdraw, to fight on or to negotiate. …

 

    When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute. … the public opinion of masses cannot be counted upon to apprehend regularly and promptly the reality of things. There is an inherent tendency in opinion to feed upon rumors excited by our own wishes and fears.” (Lippmann, The Public Philosophy, p. 25.)

 

    We should never hope or aim to choose a bully, but the elective process will give no guarantee that the people will not end up with one. Democracy, no matter its imperfections, is a way by which the people can bloodlessly turn out leaders; but, the democratic process will only work with the consent of the leaders. The best that can be expected of a constitutional democracy, the best that can be expected by any political system, is a process by which the people turn up a leader or leaders which are prepared to deal with both the bullies amongst us and those at our borders. Hopefully, the leader or leaders, so turned up by the “democratic process,” do not turn out to be a worst set of bullies then that which might exist in an ungoverned state. If, in the “democratic process,” an elected leader turns into a bully; well, then, one should not rely on democracy, except as a rallying cry, to turn him out. To turn out a powerful bully, great quantities of spilt blood are needed.

 

    6 Democracy, Government, and Freedom:-

    Democracy, in my view, is only compatible with a free economy; it can only exist, in substance, in an economy of ideas. Like a fish to water, democracy can only exists in a total atmosphere of freedom of action; it is completely incompatible with a system that provides for a governing authority with coercive power. If one accepts (anarchists, for example, do not) that a government, to some extent or other, is necessary for a civilized society, then it is to be recognized that the business of governing (as apart from the business of electing representatives) cannot be conducted in democratic matter. Lippmann deals with this problem:

    “… there has developed in this century a functional derangement of the relationship between the mass of the people and the government. The people have acquired power which they are incapable of exercising, and the governments they elect have lost powers which they must recover if they are to govern. What then are the true boundaries of the people’s power?… They can elect the government. They can remove it. They can approve or disapprove its performance. But they cannot administer the government. They cannot themselves perform. They cannot normally initiate and propose the necessary legislation. A mass cannot govern.

    Where mass opinion dominates the government, there is a morbid derangement of the true functions of power. The derangement brings about the enfeeblement, verging on paralysis, of the capacity to govern. This breakdown in the constitutional order is the cause of the precipitate and catastrophic decline of Western society. It may, if it cannot be arrested and reversed, bring about the fall of the West.” (Op. cit., pp. 14-5.)

 

    The notions of freedom and of democracy, we might reasonably conclude, rest on the same foundations. This is not the case for the concepts of government and freedom: they will have nothing to do with one another: they work against one another. The principal business of government is the taking of freedom away from people; it is how government achieves its ends.

 

    7 – The Press and Democracy:-

    To begin with: those charged with informing the public, such as our journalists, should very carefully examine the “expert evidence” that is thrown their way. Our government experts must be cross-examined and asked if they have any interest in the outcome? The answer is that most of them do — if, for no other reason, than they are in the pay of the government, as either; bureaucrats, lodged in the upper end of the government echelon; or those resting in publicly funded universities; or those who are in the social welfare business.

 

    The result of the syndrome is predictable, for, as the public conflict grows, people come to doubt expert pronouncements. Normally people primarily judge the propositions before them in a most obvious way, by their source. For example, “Of course she claims oil spills are harmless – she works for Exxon.” “Of course he says Exxon lies – he works for Nader.” When established experts lose credibility, the demagogues take over and we are left in our mass democracy with groups trying to outshout one another.

 

    “When their views have corporate appeal, they take them to the public through advertising campaigns. When their views have pork-barrel appeal, they take them to legislatures through lobbying. When their views have dramatic appeal, they take them to the public through media campaigns. Groups promote their pet experts, the battle goes public, and quiet scientists and engineers are drowned in the clamor.”

 

    Do the important issues get debated in the mass media? Some things seem to work well enough without any notice being taken by the public: and, often, these are the most simple and important workings of society such as family cooperation. In the media, as in human consciousness, one concern tends to drive out another. This is what makes conscious attention so scarce and precious. Our society needs to identify the facts of its situation more swiftly and reliably, with fewer distracting feuds in the media. This will free public debate for its proper task – judging procedures for finding facts, deciding what we want, and helping us choose a path toward a world worth living in.

 

    8 – The People:-

    I now deal with the concept, “the people”: and, in particular Burke’s notion that it consists of not just the aggregate of living persons, but; “those that are dead and those who are to be born.”

 

    “That is why young men die in battle for their country’s sake and why old men plant trees they will never sit under.

 

    “This invisible, inaudible, and so largely nonexistent community gives rational meaning to the necessary objectives of government. If we deny it, identifying the people with the prevailing pluralities who vote in order to serve, as Bentham has it, “their pleasures and their security,” where and what is the nation, and whose duty and business is it to defend the public interest? Bentham leaves us with the state as an arena in which factions contend for their immediate advantage in the struggle for survival and domination. Without the invisible and transcendent community to bind them, why should they care for posterity? And why should posterity care about them, and about their treaties and their contracts, their commitments and their promises. Yet without these engagements to the future, they could not live and work; without these engagements the fabric of society is unraveled and shredded.” (Lippmann, Op. cit., p. 36.)

 

    9 – Virtual Representation:-

    Edmund Burke was an exponent of “virtual representation.”9 The idea is that – those who do not have the franchise or those who cannot have it by custom or law (i.e., for reasons such as they are infants; or, indeed, are unborn) — are, nonetheless, represented by those exercising government power. When one thinks it through, one is bound to come to the conclusion that it is pretty presumptuous to strike on a legislative course, not knowing the degree or type of impact which such a course will have on those generations which stretch out (we hope) much beyond that time which will mark the current generation’s departure from this life.

 

    In the days prior to 1832, great large populated areas, for example, Manchester in England, were not represented by a seat in parliament; while little villages, particularly in the south of England, had a seat, sometimes more than one. While some of the larger county seats were somewhat democratic, the little southern village seats were totally in the pockets of the local lords.10 The Great Reform Bill of 1832 fundamentally redefined the electoral districts, thus came the end of the pocket boroughs.11 Since 1832, Britain (and, thus, in modern day Canada) there exists a permanent commission on electoral boundaries.




we have to explain it in 150 words only :-)

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