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Problems of Democracy.pdf

3 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street - people uprising to the problems of Democracy - it is democracy in
1975 -2010 -46 -114 democracies arouse
However, during that time, there were 53 democratic breakdowns
Around 1/2 of the 53 did not return
Democracy = fragile
Democracy and Equality
Key virtue = rule of law over the rule of man
Rules of the game - political institutions are political rules that govern the game
Democracies are a lot more predictable than an autocratic regime
We live in colonies / areas where people have similar interests
Democracy helps make compromise and mediates voters
Democracy implicates the norms of inclusion
Democracies - recognize that societies are diverse, therefore they are able to facilitate for these
difference better
Democracy - helps manage diverse societies
Core principle of democracy is realizing that you can lose
There is always new alternatives - you can vote the government out
It creates accountability & responsiveness to the people
Uncertainty is a good thing
Institutional uncertainty
They all adhere to the virtues of democracy, but they are flexible
They differ due to history of societies and social economic status
There is not one fixed model - not 2 models are alike
Democracy is an adaptable to many different circumstances
Variations in Democracy
It is absolutely fundamental to democracy
Equality of opportunity - thinking about the democratic process
As individuals, we are all politically equal - we all have one vote
Political equality - everyone is equal under the rule of law
Equality of opportunity = procedural democracy
Public contestation - people can compete in public - the provision of pluralism
Inclusive participation - democracy includes everyone - you need universal suffrage
Polyarchy (Robert Dahl ) - 2 concepts of polyarchy
Equality of Outcome
Does the democracy have substance to it
Will democracy create better economic outcomes ?
Procedural vs substantive democracy
Ex: Democratic Welfare State - what is considered fair for taxation
Unions were able to be created due to the ability to vote
Began in Europe with the rise of Capitalism and the Rise of the working class
Political - economic equity
2 ways to think about equality in democracy
Equality is core to democracy
Toronto 2012 - 50. 6 % of voters voted for the mayor
Canada's voter turnout rate is declining
Voter turn out rates for the united states hovers at around 50%
Challanges of Democracy
We all believe in the collective good, but don't believe on things at the individual level
There is an enormous cost that is associated with voting
Demonstrates the Collective Action Problem
Problems of Democracy
12:10 PM
Sept Lectures Page 1

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Problemsof Democracy October-22-12 12:10PM • ArabSpring,OccupyWall Street-peopleuprisingtotheproblemsofDemocracy-itisdemocracyin Action • 1975 - 2010 - 46 -114 democraciesarouse • However,duringthattime,therewere53democraticbreakdowns • Around1/2ofthe53 did notreturn • Democracy=fragile DemocracyandEquality • Rulesofthegame-politicalinstitutionsarepoliticalrulesthatgovernthegame ○ Keyvirtue=ruleoflawoverthe ruleofman • Democraciesarealotmorepredictablethananautocraticregime • Democracy-helpsmanagediversesocieties ○ Weliveincolonies/areaswherepeoplehavesimilarinterests ○ Democracyhelpsmakecompromiseandmediatesvoters ○ Democracyimplicatesthenormsofinclusion ○ Democracies-recognizethatsocietiesarediverse,thereforetheyareabletofacilitateforthese differencebetter • Institutionaluncertainty ○ Thereisalwaysnewalternatives-youcanvotethegovernmentout  Coreprincipleofdemocracyisrealizingthatyoucanlose ○ Uncertaintyisagood thing  Itcreatesaccountability&responsivenesstothepeople • VariationsinDemocracy ○ Thereisnotonefixedmodel-not2modelsarealike  Theyalladheretothevirtuesofdemocracy,buttheyareflexible  Theydifferduetohistoryofsocietiesandsocialeconomicstatus ○ Democracyisan adaptabletomanydifferentcircumstances • Equalityiscoretodemocracy ○ Itisabsolutelyfundamentaltodemocracy ○ 2waysto thinkaboutequalityindemocracy 1) Equalityofopportunity-thinkingaboutthedemocraticprocess  Politicalequality-everyoneisequalundertheruleoflaw □ Asindividuals,weareallpoliticallyequal -weallhaveonevote  Equalityofopportunity=proceduraldemocracy  Polyarchy(RobertDahl)-2conceptsof polyarchy □ Publiccontestation -peoplecancompete inpublic-theprovisionofpluralism □ Inclusiveparticipation -democracyincludeseveryone-youneeduniversalsuffrage 2) EqualityofOutcome  Political-economicequity □ Proceduralvssubstantivedemocracy  Doesthedemocracyhavesubstancetoit  Willdemocracycreatebettereconomicoutcomes? □ Ex:DemocraticWelfareState-whatisconsideredfairfortaxation □ BeganinEuropewiththeriseofCapitalismandtheRiseoftheworkingclass  Unionswereabletobecreatedduetothe abilitytovote • Toronto2012 - 50. 6 % ofvotersvotedforthemayor • Canada'svoterturnoutrateis declining • Voterturnoutratesfortheunitedstateshoversataround50% ChallangesofDemocracy • DemonstratestheCollectiveActionProblem ○ Weallbelieveinthecollectivegood,butdon'tbelieveonthingsattheindividuallevel 1) Costs Thereisanenormouscostthat isassociatedwithvoting 1) Costs ○ Thereisanenormouscostthat isassociatedwithvoting  Timecost 2) Benefits  Thebenefitstotheindividualaresominisculethattheactionofvotingbecomesirrational  Thebenefitisnotworththecost 3) Free-riding  Somebodyelsewillvote  othersirrationaleffortswillhelpyourindividualneeds ○ Itisnot rationaltovote ○ Youare abletofreerideoverthevote ○ Evenifwehavetheequalityofopportunity,,wedon'texerciseit • TheFallacy ofDemocratic Pluralism ○ Aslongas wecan expressouropinion,itisgood ○ Ex:usHealthCare - AmericansbelievethattheyshouldhaveNationalHealthinsurance,butall effortstomakehealthcarepublichasfailed  Iftherulesofthegamewerefair,theUS wouldalreadyhaveNationalhealthcare  Peopleblametheinstitutionalfragmentationtogetthingsdoneinaprocedurallyfairway □ Theinstitutionalfragmentationprivilegesminorityacts  Richareableto overrulethepoor-a tyrannybytherich minority  55peopleaccountfor75% offundsforCampaigns □ Therefore,pluralismfails  Proceduralfairnessisrunbytheeliteinsocietyforpowerfulinterests • EliteDemocra
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