Representative Democracy and Its Crisis in Europe
In the contemporary world, representative democracy is believed to be an elementary principal. In fact, the ideal of democracy in Europe, for instance, is based on the representative democracy. The model of democracy is designed in line with reverence to human civil liberties and the tenets of a bylaw. In essence, the European Council ought to promote and preserve representative democracy.
Several theories display that the current representation system crisis in Europe augments from the oligarchy form of democracy. The crisis has advanced due to the doctrine of awkward representation.
The fictional character of representative democracy is expounded on the normative, psychosomatic, and ontological echelons1. In this essay, the diverse features and encounters to the domestic assemblies that symbolize the crisis of representative democracy are examined.
These include the Legislative Assembly as the custodian of democracy, prerequisite for corporation and insight of a catastrophe of democracy, the universal economic calamity as a cause of the democratic crisis, multi-layered crisis, and the way forward towards curbing the crisis of representative democracy. All these features deliberate an argument that might confirm the existence of a crisis of representative democracy.
Legislative Assembly as the custodian of democracy
The question of whether there is a crisis of representative democracy has instigated debates across the world. The term crisis has assimilated much disrepute in the social and political sciences. Indeed, there has been recurrent crisis of democracy, dictatorship disaster, parliamentary crisis, national welfare crisis, as well as the Middle East and Euro crisis2.
Yet, there are a number of key arguments across the globe in regards to the democratic crisis. In Europe, for instance, a solitary opinion appears to carry the day due to public speech.
The public embraces that diverse characteristic of crisis like the crisis of conviction in administrations, assemblies, political parties, and political leaders entirely mounts up to the democratic crisis. Far from the typical public discourse, the partisan philosophy has defined that democracy cannot be conceived devoid of the crisis.
The Legislative Assembly is designed by the national assemblies and is one of the constitutional structures in the European Council. The Assembly embodies the European nations besides playing a significant starring role in sponsoring and preserving democracy in entire Europe.
The Council aspires to monitor with unlimited devotion to the development of democracy in eradicating the expected pressures through formulating mutual rejoinders. For instance, the Assemblies have held several periodic dialogues in regards to the stand of representative democracy ever since fiscal 2007.
The Council seeks to captivate the stock of the modern progress of the crisis that transpires among the democratic states. To ascertain that there is a democratic crisis, the European Council has dispensed an imperative number of explicit features of the representative functioning3.
The basis for a mutual response from the insight of democratic crisis
The various assemblies have created awareness to the public, administrations, and legislative bodies surrounding the crisis of democracy. Actually, the alarm relays enormous tendencies and a sequence signifying that crisis is looming in the democracy.
The democratic conviction by the citizens to most organizations is vanishing, given that democracy is the foundation of individual sincerity. In many nations, there is an extremely reduced number of a poll that clearly indicates the presence of crisis in a representative democracy. Equally, an abridged number of the conventional political party affiliation and support is evident.
However, there is an upsurge in the election outcomes of the political parties that propose simple solutions and seeking ultra-separatist schedules. In response, the National Assemblies antagonize the crisis in their bid of probing for the rejoinders and experiencing its appearance as the keystone association of representative democracy.
The ECPP (European Conference of Presidents of Parliaments) plays an important role of mutually discussing the probable resolutions to the crisis4. Generally, the combined reflection by the Assemblies is significant as it comprehends that nature of the crisis, investigates its source, and set out its national discernment.
The universal economic disaster as a cause of democracy crisis
The contemporary worldwide financial and economic crisis has influenced the lives of residents in Europe. Most scientists believe that this has a direct impact on democracy. The economic crisis has led to the rise of strict, unpopular, and dangerous measures by the national powers.
Likewise, these actions have increased social disorder and instigated demonstration within the apprehensive populaces. The harsh conditions have prompted the overall unrest through the governing powers5. Nevertheless, the modern upsurge of protest crusades includes the aptitude of facing crisis along with tangible strategies and decisions made by the disputed authorities.
As a result, the crisis occurs as numerous questions arise on the manner in which power is implemented and the legality of both the political associations and decision architects. The economic crisis has caused severe inadequacies in the operation of democratic organizations. These inadequacies result into adversity towards the citizens instead protection or preserving their rights6.
In a representative democracy, the crisis has disclosed the parameters of power and intensified public mistrust. Globalization of the financial arcades renders the national organizations incapable and incompetent to give citizens enough protection or meet their political anticipations7.
Hence, the crisis has exposed that the financial segment dominates the administrative power that is exemplified in parliaments and governments. For example, the universal organizations like the World Bank, Central Bank of Europe, as well as the IMF (International Monetary Fund) forces the domestic authorities to validate the verdicts that may be observed as serving the benefits of corporations instead of the general public.
The cumulative globalization and resultant international economics players have economic effects and negative impression on citizens. Additionally, crisis renders institutions of democratic nations illegitimate8.
Actually, this leads to the marginalization of institutions in certain republics with an alleged reason of desirable resolution. Commonly, more questions arise since such improvements destabilize the political sustenance given to both the ruling authorities and the democratic control systems.
Multi-faceted democratic crisis
The consequence of economic crisis ought to be viewed against the overall framework of the other distressing sensations in the operation of the representative democracy. There are many symbols that confirm crisis in a representative democracy. These may include the general dilapidation of the officials’ perception in the public domain.
The bad image renders the politicians’ to be observed as the egocentric and radical class9. In the main, this weakens the rapport between the citizens and the politicians’ thus democratic crisis. Besides, there are intensifying popularity and polling consequences in the political memberships. Crisis intensifies since these parties chase for ultra-autonomist political plans and supports simple solutions.
There is a crisis of political participation since several movements do not sit in a number of Parliaments. It is important to note that the increased encouragement of the radical rhetoric parties at times amount to revolt communication10.
Furthermore, the reduced faith in the capability of political frontrunners as well as fall in the political party membership and upkeep is a sign of the crisis of representative democracy.
The crisis is also evident due to the mounting rates of denial of all contenders, disputed ballots, and reduced number of voters in the electoral processes. These tendencies need a joint search and consideration for resolutions as they remain a big challenge to the representative social equality.
The way forward to the democratic crisis
It is true that representative democracy is accompanied by the crisis. There is a need by different nations to presenting the components of direct democracy. Through the current communication machinery, the introduction of more representatives would gratify the increasing mandate of involving the foreign societies in policymaking.
These include residents’ assemblies, civilians’ juries, participatory planning, e-democracy, and real-time equality. Conversely, the national legislatures can develop the superiority of representative democracy through making a treaty to jointly evaluate the advantages and limitations of the crisis experiences11.
The rejoinder to the crisis requires action at the ranks of legislators, political movements, assemblies, and diverse organizations. Ultimately, the residents have the mandate to elect any leader to represent them. Thus, they are crucial personalities in whichever representative democracy. Citizens must be allowed to participate and make informed decisions on public matters in order for them to gain national experiences in partaking virtuous practices.
Generally, a representative democratic crisis might be pronounced as the emergent gap amid the democratic organizations and populaces. The countrywide democratic establishments efficiently fall short of the capability to address the bottlenecks that go past national frontiers.
Therefore, the crisis of representative democracy has to be appreciated as the chance of making bold choices and realizing innovative concepts. The governments must take this point in time to make the intolerable notions to be conceivable through the preordained and long-anticipated transformations.
Almond, G & S Verba, The civic culture revisited, Sage, London, 1989.
Curtice, J & B Seyd, ‘Is there a crisis of political participation’, British Social Attitudes: Continuity and change over two decades, Sage, London, 2003, pp. 104-108.
Dalton, R, Democratic challenges, democratic choices: the erosion of political support in advanced liberal democracies, Oxford University Press, UK, 2004.
Dalton, R, Citizen politics: public opinion and political parties in advanced industrial democracies, 5th edn, CQ Press, Washington DC, 2008.
Hay, C, Why we hate politics, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 205-208.
Mair, P, C Wolfgang & P Fritz, Political parties and electoral change: party responses to electoral markets, Sage, London, 2004.
Merkel, W, ‘Embedded and defective democracies, special issue of democratization: consolidated or defective democracy?’ Problems of regime change, WZB Berlin Social Science Center Press, Berlin, 2004, pp.33-58.
Offe, C, ‘Crisis and innovation of liberal democracy: can deliberation be institutionalized?’ Czech Sociological Review, Routledge, London, 2011, pp.447-473.
Przeworski, A, Democracy and the limits of self-government, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010.
Stoker, G, Why politics matters, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke UK, 2006, pp. 302-306.
1. C Offe, ‘Crisis and innovation of liberal democracy: can deliberation be institutionalized?’ Czech Sociological Review, Routledge, London, 2011, pp.447-473.
2. J Curtice & B Seyd, ‘Is there a crisis of political participation’, British Social Attitudes: Continuity and change over two decades, Sage, London, 2003, pp. 104-108.
3. A, Przeworski, Democracy and the limits of self-government, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010.
4. Merkel, W, ‘Embedded and defective democracies, special issue of democratization: consolidated or defective democracy?’ Problems of regime change, WZB Berlin Social Science Center Press, Berlin, 2004, pp.45.
5. G Almond & S Verba, The civic culture revisited, Sage, London, 1989, p.155.
6. R Dalton, Citizen politics: public opinion and political parties in advanced industrial democracies, 5th and, CQ Press, Washington DC, 2008.
7. G Stoker, Why politics matters, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke UK, 2006, pp. 306.
9. P Mair C Wolfgang & P Fritz, Political parties and electoral change: party responses to electoral markets, Sage, London, 2004.
10. C Hay, Why we hate politics, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 206.
11. R Dalton, Democratic challenges, democratic choices: the erosion of political support in advanced liberal democracies, Oxford University Press, UK, 2004
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