’s Quote Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Winston Churchill’s Quote on Democracy
“Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is
the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.” -
Winston Churchill, 1947. This quote represents the views of Winston Churchill, the former Prime
Minister of Great Britain, not only on democracy, but on government as a whole. By this quote
Churchill meant that democracy is not perfect, and no government created so far is. Every form
of government no matter how successful it is has flaws.
According to Webster’s Dictionary the definition of government is: 1 : “a government by
the people; esp : rule of the majority 2 : a government in which the supreme power is held by the
people.” Democracy cannot function without the people, especially if the people are ignorant, ill-
informed, or only care about their own interests. Building an effective democracy takes time, the
people must be educated to make effective and well-informed decisions. This is one reason why
democracy is failing in Russia, and one of democracy’s flaws. Democracy is also a very slow
process; the checks and balances that help make democracy effective also makes it inefficient.
Before a law is passed it spends a great deal of time in the hands of officials in Congress, and even
in the hands of the president. “ Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It
can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse out of the
public treasury.”- Alexander Tyler. While this quote is not completely realistic, the idea behind it
is very true. It is often said that democracy is just a tyranny of the majority. This can seem true
at times, because the thoughts and ideas of a minority are not always fairly represented. In fact in
a few ways a dictatorship has advantages over democracy it’s more efficient. A dictatorship is a
very efficient form of government, and so is a oligarchy, but in those governments it can be very
difficult for the views and opinions of the people to be heard. For these reasons democracy is the
most just system of government thus far. Democracy works because even though the leaders of a
nation are not always the wisest people, they know that they can loose their power just as quickly
as they gained it if the people do not approve of what they’re doing.
A Democratic society is not in any way utopian and no one pretends it is, but no society
yet has been perfect, and that is thought behind Winston Churchill’s quote. Basically Churchill
means that while democracy isn’t perfect, nothing is and so far it’s the best form of government