Legitimacy Of The Government Essay, Research Paper
Representative democracies are based on the will of the people. There is no myth to this statement. Joseph Schumpeter said, “The democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.” If this is true, one may ask where the will of the people comes into play. To establish the underlying points of this statement we must first come to a consensus as to what are a democracy, legitimacy, and legitimate democratic governments. Upon this foundation, we view the opinionated response to the situation of how time changes the perception of the “will of the people.” We must also note the reasons how governments, like the US, maintain this legitimate democratic government. Finally, we must ask why does the government function the way it does.
A democracy is a governmental system where the people rule, directly or indirectly. Legitimacy is political authority conferred by law, public opinion, or constitution. Therefore, a legitimate democratic government would be a society where the people rule indirectly having say in the creation of political powers and authorities. In no way do current representative democracies violate any of these basic tenants.
When the representative democracy of the US was created, individuals that entertained the idea of having a structure to their society directly influenced the political powers and authorities because they were the powers and authorities. The people then accepted the principles of democracy and directly choose to follow it. This would be before enforcement by the executive branch. In today’s society, we see that people no longer directly have the ability to create political powers and authorities, but following principles of a legitimate democratic government, the people still indirectly influence these decisions.
The current government stays on the fine line of legitimacy by allowing the citizens in majority to express their views through the election of officials who believe in the same ideology. The political authority, of the executive branch, is indirectly influenced by the people when they vote for members going to the electoral college. The lawmakers of the country are elected in a similar fashion.
The main cause of not being able to have the citizens themselves to directly create the laws and elect officials is due to large populations. If the country were made of only 10 individuals, the laws and officials can be efficiently treated directly. Therefore, we see that nations with smaller populations, like Great Britain, versus larger populations, like the US, have a more direct relationship with having say in the creation of political powers and authorities because of time efficiency
A representative democracy is legitimate because it is based on the will of the people, indirectly. Saying that indirect representation is legitimate solidifies the position of a representative democracy. As time passes, countries grow larger losing its ability of direct influence. The ability for highly populated countries to have direct representation has decreased due to the inefficiency and time. Indirect influence on political powers and authorities enables larger countries to have a legitimate representative democracy, because the ideology of the majority is still predominate in the lawmaking procedure.