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What is the most plausible moral justification of democratic government?

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Introduction

What is the most plausible moral justification of democratic government? A democratic government is one whose actions reflect the will of the people. Popular consent in democratic systems is secured through representation; where a small group of people takes political decisions on behalf of all the citizens that live in a particular country. In order to make these decisions and exercise power in a democracy, those subject to it must popularly accept the government; it must have legitimacy, which gives the government the right to make decisions on the public's behalf that the public must accept. Democratic governments can also be held accountable for their actions to the electorate. ...read more.

Middle

People value freedom highly and are frustrated without it. From an individualistic perspective, people demand freedom not only because they want things but because it allows them to develop and choose their potential and to attain the balance of activities that suits their individualities. They can only achieve happiness and self-fulfilment if they are free to do so. Collectively, this benefits society as a whole as although liberty is an individualistic right, it ensures the moral development of individuals in society so that they will be able to make political decisions in the best interests of the society as a whole. One may argue that liberty without restraints may be abused and that an absence of restraints is a required condition for liberty. ...read more.

Conclusion

Locke would consider governments with compulsory voting systems without a social contract as voting would no longer be construed as a sign of consent. In this way, democratic governments allow their citizens important political responsibilities and the knowledge and right to make political decisions. Freedom of the press ensures that citizens remain aware of the political decisions made on their behalf and that morally responsible citizens will not blindly follow the laws but are able to question their moral value. Democratic governments today allow people to be morally aware and active while maintaining specific rights to us without being morally self-indulgent. Some liberals suggest that democracy matters in itself because of the fairness of its procedures but others suggest that democracy matters instrumentally because it tends to produce desirable consequences for law, policy and citizens. ...read more.

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