On democracy

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Democracy by Fatin Fatihah

Democracy is a type of political system that requires a popular vote to take place to elect the leader of the country and other officials. Simply said, the leaders are chosen by the people. Democracy is almost used everywhere around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and others. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of democracy.

One of the advantages of living in a democratic state or country is the freedom to elect representatives and leaders we prefer. Moreover, the citizens are given the right to decide, by way of voting on issues in politics, economics and social. For example in Malaysia, as for electing the president who makes significant and major decisions, the citizens have the right to vote the right candidate for them. This can greatly protect the people from any disagreement that might occur.

Another advantage of democracy is it promotes equality. In a democratic country, there is equality among the citizens where everyone with a legal age to vote and is a citizen of a country has the right to vote regardless of status, gender and religion. In Malaysia, every citizen who attains the age of 21 is entitled to vote. This also goes for any citizen who wants to serve the city or the country as an elected official.

One of the disadvantages is it can lead to wrong choices when it comes to government leaders. This is because in a democratic form of government, running for office is easy as long as the requirements are met. For example, for the candidates who have enough skill to be a president, they might not have enough money to campaign as a candidate compared to the candidates who have money but lack of skill, so these candidates might not put all their effort in the campaign. As a result, a citizen can make a wrong decision when they vote.

Another disadvantage of having a democratic government is it takes time to make a decision. The reason for this is it requires majority voting and Parliament will only be in session 2 to 3 times a year, so coming up with decisions will require process and time that are quite long. In contrary, in a monarchy form of government, only one person makes the decisions thus less time is taken.

Democracy might be one of the most efficient government systems in the world, but not in Islam. This is because in Prophet Muhammad’s era, he listens to the minority so the minority will not be left out. For example, Prophet Muhammad finds the minority that are poor and give them what they need. So everyone in Prophet Muhammad’s era has food and basic needs. But now in Malaysia there are growing number of people who do not have food and yet the government has not done anything to address the problem. In a democratic country, it is all based on the majority. As for the minority members, they might not be able to be represented well because the majority will always win.

Written by Nur Fatin Fatihah Mohd Jim, Year 11 student of Abedeen Secondary School