What is democracy? A Political definition
The recent Indian election, issue of 700 million voters, raises the question of the nature, the essence of political regimes from which the theoretical and factual plan a political regime can be called “democratic”? What is the fundamental difference between political regimes?
A political regime (as defined by the political science) is judged in terms of 5 criteria. I confine myself in the ticket to address the political definition of democracy and devote a more detailed note on the philosophies of democracy.
1 / The distribution of powers
– In democracy, the powers (executive, legislative and judicial) must be balanced not only separate but (Montesquieu). Is the notion of power-cons is essential. Otherwise, the concentration of power, means absolutism. This separation sometimes exists in reality, but it must be constitutionally guaranteed, that exist in a state of law.
2 / politics
Originally, the first direct democracies are limited because: the body politic is composed of the privileged few who have the time required to conduct their own political destiny (cf. the text of Hegel’s “beautiful Greek freedom”). Since the extension of the states has forced citizens to adopt interim, representatives (representative democracy). The model of the ecclesia faded to give way to representative government. Members have organized themselves into political parties, regulating the life of power or elections. The plurality should be the rule. Of course, there have majorities to govern, but also opposition parties. Thus, the electorate still has the choice. The supply policy must be diversified. Politics must be open, all political positions available. If this is not the case, the political system is so aristocratic.
3 / The mandate of the politic body
The mandates are fixed term. Zero position can not be acquired for life, or even extended without the consent of citizens. Otherwise, elective termination of the contract is called a coup, that a takeover illegitimate.
4 / The public sphere
Communication can not be reduced to a vertical policies / citizens. Intermediate bodies (unions, associations, intellectual elites, corporations) need to express themselves through media uncensored. The public debate should be fluid, without distortion.
The democratic public space must be a triple space open:
– From the top: the information must come down the political elites
– From below: people should find expression in their relay political claim.
– In the system: within the public space must be fluid exchanges between members of the polity
5 / Separation private / public
Here the difference between totalitarianism and democracy is meaningless. Totalitarianism, as shown by Hannah Arendt and Claude Lefort means the sinking of the private into the public: any, y is the most intimate, must be in the public square. Absorbs the power of civil society, man is reduced to the citizen. Democracy is based on her public space and thus the strict separation of private and public. This means that nobody can be accused of intentions or preferences.
Democracy as an ideal regulator
Of course, as the criteria of perfect competition, these criteria are forging a democratic ideal controller (in Kant’s sense), they refer to any real democracy. However, the Democrats should consider these criteria as categorical imperatives, the meaning and purpose of their actions and their votes.