polsci Homework_2 - Homework 2 1 I know that a lot of...

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Homework 2 1. I know that a lot of people are going to use the newspaper article that you gave us to look over for recitation last Friday, but I think that there are many good examples of countries that say that they are democratic but don’t possess what is thought to be democratic characteristics. If we use Dahl’s seven guarantees for democratic governance we can take some examples from the article and compare them with Dahl’s thoughts. The one that I remembered being the most violated by the countries is “Free and fair elections”. Half way through the article it talks about the number of different countries that said the elections were manipulated by: fraud, control of electoral machinery, interfering with opposition candidates, political violence, stifling the media, and undermining the law. These are solid current examples which exemplify Dahl’s free and fair election criteria which are necessary for democratic governance. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-US-Human-Rights.html? ex=1202446800&en=37c772acb3332831&ei=5070&emc=eta1 2. I think that I agree with most scholars to define democracy we have to all agree on a minimum standard. There should be a standard that governments have to measure up to, to be considered a democracy. I think to have a maximum standard doesn’t make sense because with democracy it is difficult to have a completely democratic government. Also, just as Sorenson said “it is necessary to decide on some minimum value with regard to each dimension that a country must meet to qualify as democratic”. However, as seen in the previous question some governments do take these conditions and stretch them to make it seem as though they are democratic when they do not possess some of the main characteristics of political democracy.
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