Politics Is it really democratic?

Have you ever wondered...

  • Is politics really democratic
  • What is democracy?
  • What is the reality of ‘democratic’ politics?
  • What do we need to change to make sure everyone’s voice is heard?

What is a democracy?

We think that democracy means a free world in which everyone gets heard and the elected leader was chosen by the people. But is America, the country that has represented democracy and influenced many countries to fight for freedom, really a democracy itself? Have you ever thought if your voice matters to rich powerful politicians? Or if your vote at the election counts? If not, what do we have to change to make sure your voice is heard? Read on to find out.


Firstly, what is a democracy? There is a lot of confusion about what democracy is, but according to whatisdemocracy.net, democracy is a ‘government by the people.’ This implies that all people should have a say in what affects them and in who represents them in the government, which is another democratic trait. There are two types of democracies: direct democracy - where citizens vote for public issues and straight through polling stations - and representative democracy - where a group of people can chose a few representatives that will think about the people’s views before voting. Although direct democracy includes everyone’s voice, this method of voting is only effective for a small amount of people. If a large number of people are present, representative democracy is ideal. American politics fits in representative democracy, but the way representatives - Supreme Court, President etc.- get elected isn’t as democratic as prefered.

Infographic: Whose Votes Count?


Next, what is the reality of American politics. There are a few parts of American politics that can be seen as not fully democratic. First, according to usa.gov the process of creating a law isn’t fully democratic. The House of Representatives, a group of elected officials, are entrusted with the law and can diminish it if they are biased towards a certain cause. For example, currently a majority of the representatives in the HOR are republicans, which could influence their thinking on if the law would be a useful one or if it would affect people negatively. Another example of a not fully democratic American political routine is, according to usa.gov, the election of a president. When a president is elected in November, people from all around America vote for what is called the popular vote. However, the popular vote isn’t a major factor when determining who the president will be. Instead, the votes in the House of Representatives and the Senate are the ones that count, which is extremely undemocratic.

Portland Political Protest

WHAT we can do

Thirdly, we need to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard. In order to that, we need to change some of ways politics isn’t democratic. In an article by governmentisgood.com , "How to Fix the American Democracy and Revive Democracy”, Government is Good says that we can change this in three ways: by adopting a more representative voting system, by erecting barriers that prevent power turning into political advantage, and a good economy so there won’t be an advantage for more fortunate people. But economic inequality is a very big problem in the US, mostly because of the lack of jobs and the poverty that follows. The Washington Post wrote an article on if America is a democracy or a republic, and came up with the conclusion that America was more of a republic. This means that power is mostly with the elected representatives, which is controversial because too much power with one person isn’t ideal in a democracy.

In conclusion, American politics is democratic, but has some non-democratic traits that could be tightened. However, everyone has a voice, and whoever has voice should have the right to use it. President Barack Obama once said,

“Don’t fear the future, shape it.”

If you dislike the current president or certain law, then don’t give up! Challenge it by using your voice to voice your opinions, and maybe someone will think the same as you. Thank you.

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