In this chapter, you will learn how to assess the outcomes of democracy. You will get to know the expected and actual outcomes of democracy in various respects such as quality of government, economic well-being, inequality, social differences and conflict and finally freedom and dignity. Here in “CBSE Notes Class 10 Political Science Chapter 7 – Outcomes of Democracy” we have covered all the aspects of democracy in a short and concise format. Go through these CBSE Notes to get an overview of this chapter.
How do We Assess Democracy’s Outcomes?
Democracy is a better form of government than dictatorship in the following respects:
- Promotes equality among citizens.
- Enhances the dignity of the individual.
- Improves the quality of decision making.
- Provides a method to resolve conflicts.
- Allows room to correct mistakes.
Democracy Produces Accountable, Responsive and Legitimate Government
People have the right to choose their rulers and they have control over their rulers. Citizens can participate in decision making. Thus, democracy produces a government that is accountable to the citizens, and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens.
Democracy ensures that decision making is based on norms and procedures. So, a citizen who wants to know if a decision was taken through the correct procedures can find out this information. Citizens can take part in decision making whenever they want.
A democratic government is the people’s own government. People wish to be ruled by representatives elected by them.
Economic Growth and Development
Economic development depends on several factors: the country’s population size, global situation, cooperation from other countries, economic priorities adopted by the country, etc. There is a significant difference in the rates of economic growth between countries under dictatorship and democracy. So, democracy is preferred as it has several positive outcomes.
Economic Outcomes of Democracy
The following points show the relationship of democracy with economic growth and economic inequalities.
- Dictatorial regime has had a slightly better record of economic growth. But when we compare their record only in poor countries, there is virtually no difference.
- There can be a very high degree of inequalities within democracies.
- There is often inequality of opportunities available to the poorer sections of the society.
Reduction of Inequality and Poverty
All individuals have equal weight in electing representatives. In the process of bringing individuals into the political arena on an equal footing, we find growing economic inequalities.
- A small number of ultra-rich enjoy a highly disproportionate share of wealth and incomes. Their share in the total income of the country has been increasing.
- Those at the bottom strata of the society have very little to depend upon. Their incomes have been declining.
In actual life, democracies do not appear to be very successful in reducing economic inequalities.
Accommodation of Social Diversity
No society can fully and permanently resolve conflicts among different groups. But we can learn to respect these differences and we can evolve mechanisms to negotiate the differences. Democracy is best suited to produce this outcome. Ability to handle social differences, divisions and conflicts is a plus point of democratic regimes. But democracy must fulfil 2 conditions in order to achieve this outcome:
- The majority always needs to work with the minority so that governments function to represent the general view.
- Rule by majority means that in case of every decision or in case of every election, different persons and groups may and can form a majority.
Dignity and Freedom of the Citizens
Democracy stands much superior to any other form of government in promoting the dignity and freedom of the individual. The passion for respect and freedom are the basis of democracy. Let’s take the case of the dignity of women. The long struggles by women have created some sensitivity that respect and equal treatment of women are necessary ingredients of a democratic society. The same is true of caste inequalities. Democracy in India has strengthened the claims of the disadvantaged and discriminated castes for equal status and equal opportunity.
Most individuals today believe that their vote makes a difference to the way the government is run and to their own self-interest. Democratic examination never gets over. As it passes one test, it produces another test. As people get some benefits of democracy, they ask for more and want to make democracy even better. The fact that people are complaining is itself a testimony to the success of democracy.
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