Presentation on theme: "Democracy and Crisis of Democracy in Pakistan"— Presentation transcript:
1 Democracy and Crisis of Democracy in Pakistan By: Jami ChandioTwo Day Seminar on “Human Rights, Rule of Law and Sindh Resource Center, Qasimabad, Hyderabad, Sindh, PakistanJuly, 24th -26th 2010
2 Part-1: What is Democracy? “Democracy is a political form of government carried out either directly by the people (direct democracy) or by means of elected representatives of the people (representative democracy). The term comes from the Greek: δημοκρατία - (dēmokratía) "rule of the people", which was coined from δῆμος (dêmos) "people" and κράτος (krátos) "power", in the middle of the fifth-fourth century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC. Even though there is no, universally accepted specific definition of 'democracy', equality and freedom have been identified as important characteristics of democracy since ancient times. These principles are reflected in all citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to power. For example, in a representative democracy, every vote has equal weight, no restrictions can apply to anyone wanting to become a representative, and the freedom of its citizens is secured by legitimized rights and liberties which are generally protected by a constitution”. OR
3 What is Democracy?Democracy comes from the Greek word, “demos,” meaning people. In democracies, it is the people who hold sovereign power over legislator and government.Although nuances apply to the world's various democracies, certain principles and practices distinguish democratic government from other forms of government.Democracy is government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by all citizens, directly or through their freely elected representatives.Democracy is a set of principles and practices that protect human freedom; it is the institutionalization of freedom.Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule, coupled with individual and minority rights. All democracies, while respecting the will of the majority, zealously protect the fundamental rights of individuals and minority groups.
4 What is Democracy?Democracies guard against all-powerful central governments and decentralize government to regional and local levels, understanding that local government must be as accessible and responsive to the people as possible.Democracies understand that one of their prime functions is to protect such basic human rights as freedom of speech and religion; the right to equal protection under law; and the opportunity to organize and participate fully in the political, economic, and cultural life of society.Democracies conduct regular free and fair elections open to all citizens. Elections in a democracy cannot be facades that dictators or a single party hide behind, but authentic competitions for the support of the people.Democracy subjects governments to the rule of law and ensures that all citizens receive equal protection under the law and that their rights are protected by the legal system.
5 What is Democracy?Democracies are diverse, reflecting each nation's unique political, social, and cultural life. Democracies rest upon fundamental principles, not uniform practices.Citizens in a democracy not only have rights, they have the responsibility to participate in the political system that, in turn, protects their rights and freedoms.Democratic societies are committed to the values of tolerance, cooperation, and compromise. Democracies recognize that reaching consensus requires compromise and that it may not always be attainable. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”(The following one-pager is taken from the U.S. Department of State publication, Principles of Democracy.) Read more:
10 Part-2: Ingredients of Democracy Freedom(of thought, believe, expression, Speech, Debate, Inquiry, assembly, association, legitimate profession, movement…)Citizen’s Rights( Human, political and civic…)Majority not majoritarianism(Majority rule with the protection of minority rights and participatory decision making)
11 Ingredients of Democracy ParticipationPluralism (Ideological, ethnic, linguistic, religious…)Political ToleranceRule of Law (Equality before Law)Minority rights( religious, ethnic, linguistic )
12 Ingredients of Democracy Accountability(parliamentary or democratic ways not through discriminatory undemocratic ways like NAB in Pakistan)Transparency( Access to information, Good Governance…)
13 Part-3: Vehicles and Tools of Democracy Written constitutionDemocratic Political partiesParliament/assembliesFree and fair regular electionsIndependent election commission
14 Vehicles and Tools of Democracy Independent JudiciaryFree and Responsible mediaVibrant civil societyResponsible citizenryContinuous democratic processContinuity of democratic discourse, political competition, accountability through elections and responsible media, alternative solutions, changing leadership….
15 Part-4: Deficits of Democracy in Pakistan Lack of sustainability of democracyCentralism and Lack of democratic federalism/Week Constituent UnitsWeek democratic institutionsPolitical parties, assemblies, conflict resolution mechanisms i.e. CCI, IRSA, CDWP, ECNEC
16 Deficits of Democracy in Pakistan Lack of equality among the provincesOpportunities, development/HDI, distribution of resources i.e. financial and natural resources which includes water, importance in decision making at center, services, bureaucracy, judiciary, representation in federal agencies…Lack of democratic culture
17 Way ForwardReal transfer of power from military to political institutionsDepoliticizing and ensuring transparency in militarySustainability of constitutional ruleDecentralization of centralist federal authorities through democratic and inclusive federalism based on 1940 Lahore resolutionAutonomous provincial constituent units
18 Way Forward Empowering and effective role of senate Effective role of parliamentary committees and inter-provincial institutions i.e. CCI, IRSA, ECNEC, CDWPGood Governance and Rule of lawResponsive and responsible governmentsRespecting diversityProtecting language and cultural of all nations and ethnic groups of Pakistan
19 Way ForwardProviding equitable social justice to under developed and marginalized regions, communities and nationalitiesStrengthening of civil societyEmpowering the individual
20 Long Live Democracy Thanks email@example.com www.cpcs.org.pk