In the liberal society, people’s participation in development through the political process is an important approach. Elections, company’s shares, non-governmental entities, developing and sharing opinion are the best ways of participation. In a public lecture program, ‘Democracy and Social Decisions’ organized by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), Nobel laureate and Lamont Professor Amartya Sen describes the beauty of democracy. Professor Sen was speaking as a distinguished chief guest who has changed the course of welfare economics. His capability theory is popular ideology in social science.
I was one of the luckiest participants to be there in Sheldonian Hall [view]. Sen presented emotional facts and examples of a defective voting system and counting a majority of minority prevailing in the US, UK, and Indian democracy. The powerful example presented by Sen have inspired to academia and policy makers, to think over the matter. Continued changes for the sustainability and wide acceptability of democracy has been an important issue. Today’s democracy and the free market are discontented by manipulation, deception and asymmetric information and defective majority system of the election system. Basically, Sen highlighted the US, UK and Indian election majoritarian system, which is not inclusive in real terms.
In the program, Sen presented sets of a practical example of public participation in the state through election and decisions from the US, the UK, and India. He underlined the public participation in the social decision of US’s Presidential election 2016, Brexit and India’s Narendra Modi’s election where the actual decision was not made by the participation of majority. For example, Hilary Clinton won the 65.9m and Donald J Trump won the only 63m popular vote. Trump had less 2.9 million popular votes than Clinton but Trump was declared as a winner. More Americans voted for the Democratic opponent. (The Telegraph 2016, the Guardian 2016, Independent 2016, CNN 2016). The highest turnout was 82.6 percent in 1876 after than it is getting lower. The winner of 2016’s presidential election- Trump was only voted by the 63million US voters whereas there is more than 321.4 million population. In the UK there is 65.14 million population but only 17, 410, 742 voters voted for the Brexit that means about 48 million British did not provide an input on Brexit. Similarly, in India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured only 31 percent vote but Modi becomes a Prime Minister. These facts have shown the clear ugly practice of ‘beautiful democracy’ of the 21st century.
This is a bizarre practice of democracy whereas it is believed that democracy is ‘by the people, to the people, and for the people’. The system that considers as a majority is a proof of minority who have been ruling the democracy. As like discontents in free markets, the democracy is being questioned by many because of immense discontents. Also, democracy is being replaced by money and profit. This should be a matter of further discussion and research to make democracy for all in the future.
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