midterm new - 1 Gregory Tsigounis Polt 550 April 1 2010 The...

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1 Gregory Tsigounis Polt. 550 April 1, 2010 The democratic system aims toward providing all citizens to have political rights that uphold their civil liberties. These rights are considered to contain institutional frameworks that act transparently, accountably, as well as separate but equal. The outcome with a democratic system however does not guarantee to be wise nor provide the wisdom and rationale that it seems to promise because of the changing circumstances among social cleavages and party systems. Arend Lijphart explains two active models of democracy, the Westminster model and the Consensus Model. The Westminster model explains the basic definition of democracy which means “the government by the majority of the people.” The idea behind a majoritarian model is that the majorities should govern and the minorities should oppose. (Lijphart 31) The Consensus model however points out an undemocratic outcome of a majority which is its principle of exclusion. A democracy is supposed to give all citizens political rights, by providing them the right to participate in decision making through proper representation on issues directly affecting them. If a simple majority rules and the minority class is ignored the system begins to reveal itself to be not only undemocratic but dangerous to the regime. A perfect example of its potential downfall is the situation involving Northern Ireland’s plural society and its religious division between the protestant majority and the catholic minority. In this case majority rule meant the Unionist that represented the Protestants won all elections and formed all governments from 1921 and 1972. In the 1960’s the Catholics of Northern Ireland gave up their allegiance to the regime and protested which eventually lead to a Protestant Catholic Civil War
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2 that could only be contained by Britain’s intervention. (Lijphart 33) The flexibility of the Westminster model of democracy is not adequate toward a divided plural society and is dangerous in its ability to create a dictatorship majority. A consensus democracy aims to improve the Westminster Model by adapting toward inclusion rather than to exclude, by trying to maximize the size of the majority and not be satisfied with just a simple majority these efforts
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midterm new - 1 Gregory Tsigounis Polt 550 April 1 2010 The...

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