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Liberal democracy and Political Participation - Essay Example

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Liberal democracy and Political Participation

Other political scientists state that democracy is only a structure and is not individual participation. (Budge 1996)
Political participation in the process has great influence on the development of everybody's character. It is known that political participation is the "key to the transformation of people from individual (private) to citizen (public)". But it can be noticed that political participation must not be only defensive and protective measure against the political system. (Bruce 1923)
There are many definition of "liberal democracy". One of them states that liberal democracy is "a form of representative democracy, where the ability of elected representative to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law". Liberal democracy is also subjected to constitution the main points of which are defense of human rights and freedoms. It also involves protection of minority groups.
It can be admitted that rights and freedoms involve such categories as private property, equality before the law, privacy, etc. These rights are also called liberal rights. They are guaranteed by statutory or constitutional laws. (Gibson 2000)
Liberal democracy involves also tolerance and pluralism. Different political and social views, extreme fringes can co-exist in liberal democracy. One more characteristic of liberal democracy is election, which give political parties the opportunity to obtain political power and to realize their political program in society.
The next point to be discussed is specific rights and freedoms which enable citizens to participate in the liberal process. These rights are considered to be essential part of liberal democracy and its functioning. (Norris 2000)
Among the most common rights it is possible to mention the following: the right to life an to secured, freedom of movement, freedom from slavery, freedom of speech and press, freedom of education and religion, freedom of assembly, independent judiciary.
But in practice all rights have restrictions and limits, such as copyright and libel. Some limits relate to anti-democratic speeches and undervaluation of human rights. The explanation of these restrictions is that they guarantee the performance of liberal democracy and freedoms. (Budge 1996)
The most disputable are the freedom of speech and freedom of press. Freedom of speech is always considered as integral part of liberal democracy in the modern world. It is guaranteed by the Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom of speech is understood "to protect any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used". (Norris 2000)
It is one of the possible an favourable means of potical participation, because due to this freedom it is possible to discuss different thoughts and to get clear idea about some any process in liberal democracy. Individuals can express their thoughts ...Show more

Summary

It is necessary to start researching the topic with an excellent statement: "Democracy is the most valued and also the vaguest of political terms in the modern world." Democracy is the most widely spread in the Western world. And liberal democracy is one of the democracy's kinds…
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