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What are the pros and cons of democracy?
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Democracy is slow and inefficient

Between the back-and-forth compromising, the endless discussions, and pocket-lining tactics that democracy allows for, hardly anything productive ever gets done in a timely manner. This often leaves people to suffer for unnecessarily long periods of time.


Democracy was first imagineered in ancient Greece by the leader of Athens, Cleisthenes, as a way in which the people could rule instead of being ruled. Equality was at the heart of the philosophy of democracy, and a new form of government took shape which would forever change the world. It was seen as the fairest and most ethical way to govern a nation and its people. For many centuries, democracy has become widespread among developed nations, being both promoted peacefully and by force. But today the debate rages as to whether or not democracy is really the golden form of government that it has long been made out to be. Does democracy really work? Do the pros outweigh the cons, or is democracy an inefficient and fallible system? With the tumultuous 2020 U.S. presidential election nearing the boiling point, this question is being asked now more than ever: What are the pros and cons of democracy?

The Argument

Democracy is a painfully slow and inefficient process, because people are naturally divided when it comes to their opinions. Their elected representatives spend an enormous amount of time going back and forth, debating and compromising on issues which may need immediate action.[1] This process can take months, if not years, before the people in charge finally come to a mutual agreement; and by then, the agreement is so full of added, unrelated conditions or stipulations that it hardly seems to address the original issue at all. Voters and politicians' own personal self-interests more often than not disregard the greater good, which would benefit the whole of society instead of just a handful of people. Voters vote based on what they want for themselves, and don't care what affects their neighbors. The divided nature of voters results in endless debate, both between the people and their representative elected officials.[2] In addition, politicians engage in pork barrel politics,[3] in which they seek to further their own goals or line their own pockets by refusing to agree on an issue unless their own demands are met, further slowing down the decision-making process and delaying action on critical issues. Democracy allows for all of this to get in the way of what otherwise would have been a quick and efficient decision, made by a competent government or ruler. Putting the power into the people's indecisive and selfish hands may seem fair on the surface, but when it allows for the continued suffering of people due to long months of waiting for action, "fairness" seems to be the last thing on anyone's mind.

Counter arguments

The democratic process may be slow, but it is governed by the people's will. This is the fairest form of government out there, and it is by far better than the alternative of a dictatorship, where the people's best interests are not always on the mind of the ruling elite.[2] In response to pork barrel politics, it doesn't have to be all bad. Yes, there are corrupt individuals who only want to see their own wealth grow. But there may be times when other issues come up that are just as critical, and if one politician suggests a solution to one issue as a stipulation to agreeing on another, then that is both beneficial and efficient. Democracy isn't without its flaws, but those flaws can also work to benefit everyone, not just a handful of people.



[P1] Democracy allows for divided voters to spark endless discussions which slows down the decision-making process and delays action. [P2] Democracy allows for people to vote and politicians to act in their own self-interests, disregarding the need for timely action in order to fulfil their own desires. [P3] Democracy is slow and inefficient.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] The democratic process may be slow, but it is governed by the people's will and is therefore the fairest form of government there is. [P2] If politicians want to solve other issues as a stipulation to coming to an agreement on an issue, this can be a good thing. [P3] Democracy may be slow, but it is better than any other form of government.


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020 at 16:06 UTC

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