List of Pros and Cons of Democracy

A democracy is a structure of organization. Many people define it as a system of government, though it can be applied to any structure. In a democracy, decisions are reached through a common vote. This decentralization of power holds great appeal for many people, but there are disadvantages to using this type of structure to manage power.

List of Pros of Democracy

1. Protects the People
The entire point of a democracy is to place power in the hands of the people, thereby protecting their interests. Even when elected officials are given authority to make executive decisions, the argument holds that the people chose to vote that official into power, and so have given tacit agreement to any decision that he or she makes.

2. Accountability
Because the people have the power to elect their own officials, those who are currently holding office are accountable for their actions. If they wish to be re-elected for another term, they are going to have to prove to the people that they deserve to retain their office. If an official is voted in who fails to promote the good of the people, the people can show their disapproval by voting him or her out of office.

3. Good Citizenship
In a democracy, people have a sense of ownership over what the organization does. This promotes a feeling of duty and obligation towards the common good. People take more of an interest in what is going on if they feel like they can have a hand in changing it. A democracy creates a stronger, more proactive public.

Lists of Cons of Democracy

1. Inefficient
In a large democracy, the process of collecting and counting votes becomes very unwieldy and inefficient. The larger the democracy becomes, the more prone this process becomes to mistakes or deliberate tampering. The time it takes to see that the voting process is carried out correctly makes it impossible to come to quick decisions. This is why democracies vote to give power to officials rather than attempting to make all decisions in this manner.

2. Minorities
In a democracy, minorities have no power. The vote always goes whichever way the majority decides. This often leads to an exploitation of minorities. Even if the choice is not deliberately made to ignore their voice, that is often what ends up happening. This is why democratic decisions need to be balanced with executive power.

3. Poor Leadership
In a democracy, the ultimate power lies with the people. This becomes a problem whenever people are uneducated on major issues or do not take the time to investigate candidates and arguments thoroughly. Because people are prone to making emotional decisions, a charismatic leader often has little trouble persuading the majority to vote a certain way, even if that ends up being the wrong decision.