BY SIMON TONGYIK DAHEL,
July 4, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — It had come to my attention that the young nation like Republic of South Sudan should be making aware about the philosophy of democracy that should be used as a fundamental base of governing. The following methods are the basic core of democratic values that should best govern people of South Sudan without pragmatist
Democracy is government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by all citizens, directly or through their freely elected representatives. It also a set of principles and practices that protect human freedom that fundamental believed to be institutionalized freedom in all free nations and it should with no hesitation be implemented in our young nation.
We do know that democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule, coupled with individual and minority rights. All democracies, while respecting the will of the majority zealously protect the fundamental rights of individual and minority groups. Democracies also guard against all powerful central governments and decentralize government to regional and local levels, understanding that local government must be as accessible and responsive to the people as possible.
Democratic government also understand that one of their prime functions is to protect such basic human right as freedom of speech and religion, the right to equal protection under law, and the right to equal opportunity to organize and participate fully in the political, economic and cultural life of society. Conduct regular free and fair elections open to all citizens. Elections in a democracy cannot be facades that dictators or a single party hide behind, but authentic competitions for the support of the people. In a democracy society always the government is subject to the rule of law and ensures that all citizens receive equal protection under the law and that their rights are protected by the legal systems of that nature.
Democracies are diverse, reflecting each nation’s unique political, social, and cultural life, and democracy rest upon fundamental principles, not uniform practices. In addition, citizens in a democracy not only having rights, they also have the responsibility to participate in the political system that, in turn protects their rights and freedoms and most importantly, democratic society are committed to the values of tolerance, cooperation and compromise. Democratic recognize that reaching consensus requires compromise and that it may not always be attainable and not intolerance that always inject violence.
RULE OF LAW
As a matter of fact, in human history rulers and law were synonymous, law was simply the will of the ruler and it is first step away from tyranny was the notion of rule by law including the notion that even a ruler is under the law and should rule by virtue of legal means. Democratic went further by establishing the rule of law. Although No society or government system is problem free, rule of law protects fundamental political, social, and economic rights and reminds us that tyranny and lawlessness are not the only alternatives.
To come to the point, rule of law means that no individual, president or private citizen, stands above the law. Democratic government exercise authority by way of law and are themselves subject to law’s constraints. Laws should express the will of the people, not the whims of kings, dictators, military officials, religious leaders, or self appointed political parties. On the other hand, citizens are always obeying the laws of their society when democracy committed they also submitted to their own rules and regulations. Justice is best achieved when the laws are established by the very people who must obey them. Under the rule of law, a system of strong, independent courts should have the power and authority, resources, and the prestige to hold government officials, even top leaders, accountable to the nation’s laws and regulations. For this reason, judges should be well trained, professional, independent, and impartial. To serve their necessary role in the legal and political system, judges must be committed to the principles of democracy. Bout the way, the laws of a democracy may have many sources difference constitutions, statutes and regulations, religious and ethical teachings, and cultural traditions and practices. Regardless of origin the law should enshrine certain provisions to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens under the requirement of equal protection under the law, the law may not be uniquely applicable to any single individual or group but citizens must be secure from arbitrary arrest and unreasonable search of their homes or the seizure of their personal property. The government should make sure also that any citizens charged with crimes are entitled to a speedy and public trial, along with opportunity to confront and question their accusers. If convicted, they may not be subjected to cruel or unusual punishment. Citizens cannot be forced to testify against themselves, this principle protects citizens from coercion, abuse or torture and greatly reduces the temptation of police to employ such measures.
MAJORITY RULE, MINORITY RIGHTS
The principle of majority rule and the protection of individual and minority rights are profitable in democratic society. Majority rule is a means for organizing government and deciding public issues, it is not another road to oppression. Just as no self- appointed group has the right to oppress others, so no majority even in a democracy, should take away the basic rights and freedoms of a minority group or individuals. Minority whether as a result of ethnic background, religious belief, geographic location, income level, or simply as the losers in elections or political debate enjoy guaranteed basic human rights that no government, and no majority, elected or not, should remove.
Minorities need to trust that the government will protect their rights and self-identity. Once this is accomplished, such groups can participate in, and contribute to their country’s democratic institutions. Among the basic human rights that any democratic government must protect are freedom of speech and expression; freedom of religion and belief; due process and equal protection under the law; and freedom to organize, speak out, dissent, and participate fully in the public life of their society.
Democracies understand that protecting the rights of minorities to uphold cultural identity, social practices, social practices, individual consciences, and religious activities is one of their primary tasks. Acceptance of ethnic and cultural groups that seem strange if not alien to the majority can represent one of the greatest challenges that any democratic government can face. But democracies recognize that diversity can be an enormous asset. They treat these differences in identity, culture, and values as a challenge that can strengthen and enrich them, not as a threat. There can be no single answer to how minority group differences in views and values are resolved only the sure knowledge that only through the democratic process of tolerance debate and willingness to compromise can free societies reach agreement s that embrace the twin pillars of majority rule and minority rights.
The following are the legislatives powers that should thoroughly be define in our expect new legislatives assemble
- The elected legislatures are always the principal forum of deliberation, debate and passing laws in a representative democracy. They are not so called rubber stamp parliament
- The elected legislatives always are task for oversight and investigate powers to allow them publicly question the government officials about their actions and decisions, and also serves as a check on the powers of various of governing where the legislature is separate from the executives.
- Legislatives always they task with approval of the budget, conduct the hearing on pressing issues, and confirm executive appointees to courts and ministries. Sometimes, legislatives committees provide lawmakers a forum for these public examinations of national issues.
- Legislators sometimes could support the ruling government in power or they may serve as a loyal political opposition that offers alternative policies and others programs.
- Legislators are always responsibly to articulate their views as effective as possible. With the exception they work within the democratic ethic of tolerance, respect and compromise to reach agreements that will benefit the general welfare of all the people. This not base on their political supporters. Each legislator must alone decide on how to balance the general welfare with the needs of a local constituency.
- Legislators often provide constituents with sympathetic hearing for their individual complaints and problems along with help in getting assistance from large government bureaucracies. To fulfill this, they often maintain a staff of trained aides.
- The national; legislators are usually elected in one of two ways. Primary election of two parties and the one with the majority of votes win. The proportional system, often used in parliamentary election, voters usually cast ballots for parties or more, not individuals and representatives are chosen on the basis of their party’s percentage of the vote.
- A proportional system tends to encourage multiple, tightly organized smaller parties, plurality elections encourage a looser, two party system. Under either system, representatives engage in the debate, negotiation, coalition building, and compromise that are the hallmarks of democratic legislatures.
- Legislatures are often bicameral, with two chambers and new laws generally require passage by both the upper and lower chambers.
All human beings are born with inalienable rights. These human rights empower people to pursue lives of dignity thus, no government can bestow them but all governments should protect them. Freedom built on a foundation of justice, tolerance; dignity and respect regardless of ethnicity, religion, political association or social standing allow people to pursue these fundamental rights. Whereas dictatorships deny human rights, free societies continually strive to attain them.
Human rights are interdependent and indivisible, they encompass myriad facets of human existence including social, political and economic issues, among the most commonly accepted are
- All people should have the right to form their own opinions and express them individually or in peaceful assemblies, free societies create a marketplace of ideas where people exchange their views on any number of issues.
- All people should have the right to participate in government. Governments should create laws that protect human rights while justice systems enforce those laws equally among the population.
- Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and torture whether one is an opponent of the ruling political party, an ethnic minority, or even a common criminal, is a basic human right. A professional police force respects all citizens as it enforces the laws of the nation.
- In ethnically diverse nation like South Sudan, religious and ethnic minorities should be free to use their language and maintain their traditional without fear of recrimination from the majority population. Governments should recognize the rights of minorities while respecting the will of the majority.
- All population should have the opportunity to work, earn a living, and support their families.
- Children deserve special protection because they are the future of the nation and they should receive at least an elementary education, proper nutrition, and healthcare.
- Maintaining human rights, citizens in any free society need to be vigilant. Citizen responsibility through a variety of participatory activities to ensure that government remains accountable to the people. The family of free nations is committed to work toward protection of human rights. They formalize their commitment through a number of international treaties and covenants on human rights.
A nation with a diverse groups of the people with different languages, religious faiths and cultural norm, that societies require choose to lives under an agreed constitutional framework. They expect a degree of local autonomy and equal economic and social opportunities. A federal system of the governance, power shared at local, regional and national levels empowers elected officials who design and administer policies tailored to local and regional need. They work in partnership with a national government and with each other to solve the many problems the nation faces.
= federalism is a system of shared power and decision making between two or more freely elected government s with authority over the same people and geographical area. It grants and protects decision making ability where results are most immediately felt in local communities, as well as at higher levels of government.
=federalism fosters government accountability to the people and encourages citizen participation and civic responsibility by allowing local government s to design and administer local laws.
= A federal system is strengthen by a written constitution granting authority and outlining the scope of sharing responsibilities enjoyed by each level of government.
= While t is generally agreed that local governments should satisfy local needs, some issues are best left to the national government. Defense, international treaties, federal budgets and postal services are often cited as for instance.
= local ordinances reflect the preferences by which local communities choose to live police and fire patrols, school administration and local health and building regulations are often design and administered locally..
= Intergovernmental relations means that various government s in a federal state national, regional and local work together when issues of statutory authority imply the need to address issues cooperatively. The national government often has authority to mediate disputes between regions.
= In a geographical large and economically diverse nation, disparities in income and social welfare among regions can be addressed by the national government through policies that redistribute tax revenues.
= A federal system is responsive and inclusive. Citizens are free to run for government positions at all levels local and regional governments ofter the most positions and perhaps, the most opportunity to make a difference in their communities.
= Federalism provides multiple opportunities for political parties to serve their constituents. Even if a particular party does not hold a majority in the national legislature or the executive, it is permitted to participate at the regional and local levels.
Leaders of democratic governments govern with consent of their citizens. Such leaders are powerful not because they command armies or economic wealth, but because they respect the limits placed on them by the electorate in a free and fair election.
Through free elections, citizens of a democracy confer powers upon their leaders that are defined by law. In a constitutional democracy, power is divided so that the legislature makes the laws, the executive authority enforces the law and carries them out and the judiciary operates independently.
Democratic leaders are neither elected dictators nor presidents for life, they serve fixed terms in the office and accept the results of free elections, even if it means losing control of the government.
In constitutional democracies, executive authority is generally limited in three ways: by a system of checks and balances separating the national governments executive, legislative, and judicial power; by federalism, which divides power between the national government and the states/ local governments; and by constitutional guarantees of fundamental rights.
At the national level, the executive is limited by the constitutional authority vested in the legislatives branch and by an independent judiciary.
Executive authority in modern democracies is generally organized in one of two ways; as a parliamentary or a presidential system.
In a parliamentary system, the majority party in the legislature forms the executive branch of the government, headed by a prime minister.
In a parliamentary system, the legislative and executive branches are not entirely distinct from one another, since the prime minister and members of the cabinet are drawn from the parliament. In such systems, the political opposition serves as a chief means of limiting, or checking the authority off the executive.
In a presidential system, the president is elected separately from the members of the legislature.
In a presidential system, both the president and the legislature have their own power bases and political constituencies, which serve to check and balance each other.
Democracies do not require their governments to be weak, only limited. Consequently, democracies may be slow to reach agreement on national issues; yet when they do, their leaders can act with great authority and confidence.
At all times, leaders in a constitutional democracy function within the rule of law that defines and restricts their authority.
A real democratic system, government exists to serve the people but citizens also must agree to abide by the rules and obligation by which they are governed. Democracies grant many freedoms to their citizens including the freedom to dissent and criticize the government.
Citizenship in a democracy requires participation, civility and even patience.
Democratic citizens recognize that they not only have rights, they have responsibilities. They recognize that democracy requires an investment of time and hard work, a government of the people demands constant vigilance and support by the people.
Under some democratic governments, civic participation means that citizens are required to serve on juries, or give mandatory military or civilian national service for a period of time. Other obligations apply to all democracies and are the sole responsibility of the citizen, chief among these is respect for law. Paying one’s fair share of taxes, accepting the authority of the elected government, and respecting the rights of those with differing points of view are also examples of citizen responsibility.
Democratic citizens know that they must bear the burden of responsibility for their society if they are to benefit from its protection of their rights.
There is a saying in free societies; you get the government you deserve. For democracy to succeed, citizens must be active not passive, because they know that the success or failure of the government is their responsibility, and no one else’s. in turn, government officials understand that all citizens should be treated equally and that bribery has no place in a democratic government.
In a democratic system, people unhappy with their leaders are free to organize and peacefully make the case for change or try to vote those leaders out of office at established times for elections.
Democracies need more than an occasional vote from their citizens to remain healthy. They need the steady attention, time, and commitment of large numbers of the citizens who, in turn, look to the government to protect their rights and freedoms.
Citizens in a democracy join political parties and campaign for the candidates of their choice. They accept the fact that their party may not always be in power.
They are free to run for office or serve as appointed public officials for a time.
They utilize a free press to speak out on local and national issue.
They join labor union, community groups, and business associations.
They join private voluntary organizations that share their interest whether devoted to religion, ethnic culture, academic study, sports, the arts, literature, neighborhood, improvement, international student exchanges, or a hundred other different activities.
All these groups no matter how close to or remote from government contributes to the richness and health of their democracy.
The independent and professional judges are the foundation of a fair, impartial and constitutionally guaranteed system of courts of law known as the judiciary. This breach does not mean judges could make decisions bases on personal preference rather that they are free to make lawful decision even if the decision contradict the government including others parties in the country.
In democracies, independence from political pressures of elected officials and legislatures guarantees the impartiality of judges. Individual merits and legal arguments and relevant laws, without any restrictions or improper influence by interest groups or parties. These principles ensure equal legal protection for all citizens.
The power of judges to review public laws and declare them violation of the nation’s constitution serves as a fundamental check on potential government abuse of power even if the government is elected by a popular majority. This power, however, requires that the courts be seen as independent and able to rest their decisions upon the law, not political considerations.
Whether elected or appointed, judges must have job security or tenure, guaranteed by law,, in order that they can make decisions without concern for pressure or attack by those in positions of authority. A civil society recognizes the importance of professional judges by providing them with adequate training and remuneration.
Trust in the court system’s impartiality in its being seen as the nonpolitical branch of government is a principal source of it strength and legitimacy.
A nation’s courts, however, are no more immune from public commentary, scrutiny, and criticism then other institutions. Freedom of speech belongs to all; judges and their critics alike.
To ensure their impartiality, judicial ethics require judges to step aside or recuse themselves from deciding cases in which they have a conflict of interest.
Judges in a democracy cannot be removed for minor complaints, or in response to political criticism. Instead, they can be removed only for serious crimes or infractions through the lengthy and difficult, procedure of impeachment bringing charges and trial either in the legislature or before a separate court panel.
An independent judiciary assures people that court decisions will be based on the nation’s laws and constitution, not on shifting political power or the pressure of a temporary majority. Endowed with this independence, the judicial system in democracy serves as a safeguard of the people’s rights and freedoms.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
THE PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO KNOW: Election are the primary means for citizens to hold their country’s officials accountable for their actions in office, especially when they have behaved illegally, corruptly, or ineptly while carrying out the work of the government. For the will of the people to be meaningful, basic rights must be protected and affirmed, such as with a Bill of Rights, believed that the very basis for government’s responsiveness was the assurance that citizens would have sufficient knowledge to direct it. If the citizens are to govern their own affairs, either directly or through representative government, they must be informed about how best to determine their affairs and how best to represent and execute them. If citizens are not well informed, they can neither act in their own self-interest. Broadly speaking, nor have any serious choice in elections, much less offer themselves as candidates.
Democracy has a direct relationship with country’s citizens whose votes encourage the winner to act honestly in representing the people’s will. The various laws, constitutional provisions and internal regulations found in democracies reflect the idea that those who work for the government, whether appointed, elected or hired, owe a high level of accountability to the public.
Dictatorships have got no much protections or safeguards. Leader in a dictatorship do not have the same incentives as leaders in democracy to avoid violating the law and abusing power to their own advantage. What they always practice is corruption and looting, they do this for their personal gains.
Representative organizations in civil society
Other institutions, including the private groups and organizations that operate under public laws, also need standards of accountability and transparency. Trade unions, corporations, humanitarian organizations, schools, hospitals, political parties, and other voluntary organizations all must operate.
A FREE PRESS
In a democracy, the press should operate free from governmental control. Democratic governments do not have ministers of information to regulate content of newspaper or the activities of journalists; requirements that journalists be vetted by the state or force journalists to join government controlled unions.
A free press informs the public, holds leaders accountable, and provides a forum for debate of local and national issues.
Democracies foster the existence of a free press. An independent judiciary, civil society with rule of law, and free speech all support a free press. A free press must have legal protections,
In democracies the government is accountable for its actions. Citizens therefore expect to be informed about decisions their governments make on their behalf. The press facilitates this right to know by serving as a watching over the government, helping citizens to hold government accountable and questioning its policies. Democratic governments grant journalists access to public meetings and public document. They do not place prior restraints on what journalists may say or print.
The press, itself, must act responsible. Through professional associations, independent press council, and ombudsmen in house critics who bear public complaints, the press responds to complaints of its own excesses and remains internally countable.
Democracy requires the public to make choices and decision. In order for the public to trust the press, journalists must provide factual reporting bases on credible sources and information. Plagiarism and false reporting are counterproductive to a free press..
Press outlets should establish their own editorials boards, independent of government control, in order to separate information gathering and dissemination from editorial processes.
Journalists should not be swayed by public opinion, only by the pursuit of truth, as close as they can get to it. A democracy allows the press to go about its business of collecting and reporting the news without fear or favor from the government.
Finally, democracies foster a never ending struggle between two rights: The government’s obligation to protect national security and the people right know, based on journalist’s ability to access information. Government sometimes needs to limit access to information considered too sensitive for general distribution. But journalists in democracies are fully justified in pursuing such information.
Therefore, I hope those few details point about the pursuing of democracy need for our country would help you during the debates and thank
Simon Tongyik Dahel
Chairman of SPLM/A In Opposition Chapter of
State of Tennessee of United States
I could be reach at email@example.com