Professor- Ernest Smith
Due date- 01/16/16
Models of Democracy Paper
As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressman and government officials, but the voters of this country.” Which he is right, we the people have a lot of say in government and democracy. Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. Democracy has two different parts which are called models of democracy, they are majoritarian and pluralist democracy. Majoritarian democracy is the classical theory of democracy in which government by the people is interpreted as government by the majority of the people. So in other words it is basically the way the government lets us have a say in what goes on. They make a set of rules of what is required and the people that fit those qualifications run against each other and we the people vote them in. That is why it’s called majoritarian because of majority rule. Of course there are other rules besides just winning the majority but that is beside the point. The other one is pluralist democracy which is an interpretation of democracy in which “government by the people is taken to mean government by the people operating through competing interest groups”. An interest group is an organized group of individuals that seeks to influence public policy; also called a lobby. This evolution all started when they needed a change from the majoritarian democracy because it was “government by some of the people” in the 1950s. Some examples of interest groups in this time period was the Future Farmers of America, Chambers of Commerce, and Animal protection groups. There is innumerable amount and they often shared things like race, religion, culture, and economic etc.
The majoritarian democracy worked in some ways that the pluralist democracy did and the other way around. The majoritarian mainly got the opinion of the people by polls they would send out. But when only 40 percent answer the polls it isn’t a very reliable source. Which is why the saying going from “government by the people” too “government by some of the people”. This pluralist model is saying, “democracy exists when many (plural) organizations operate separately from the government, press their interests on the government, and even challenge the government.” (Quoted from our textbook The Challenge of Democracy: American Government in Global Politics. page 39) The best way for the pluralist democracy to succeed is in a decentralized structure. In a centralized structure of government, the decisions are made at the top of the hierarchy. The Pluralist model doesn’t work in the structure because the top is too busy to listen to all the interest groups so they don’t get a say in the decision making. With a...