Guillermo O Donnell's Definition Of Democracy

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Democracy is easy to define, yet not always easy to execute. To get a basic definition one can pull directly from the Greek origins of the word democracy, meaning power by the people. By this definition, any state that allows its citizens minimal input in its government could be considered a democracy, but adhering to the basic level of democracy does not necessarily mean a state has an effective democracy. To expand on an idea of Guillermo O’Donnell’s, a democratic state is a fundamental component of democracy, but it is insufficient for achieving an effective democracy. To simplify, setting the framework for democracy is not enough to achieve democracy. O’Donnell goes on to outline the criteria for the creation of an effective democracy, beginning with elections. In a true democracy, not only must elections be held, they must be competitive, free, inclusive, and institutionalized. To have an election which is free and competitive, citizens must be able to have free choice to cast their ballot between a minimum of two parties. Democracy cannot be effective unless every citizen is allowed to vote, therefore universal suffrage is a key element of democracy. The last of the criteria, to have institutionalized elections, means that a…show more content…
Responsible government in Canada relies not only on the assumption that elected officials will be held accountable by the citizens who voted them in, but also on the prime minister and his or her cabinet being held accountable by the members of parliament (MPs). The prime minister and the cabinet are not voted into office directly by Canadians, they are only indirectly responsible to Canadians. Canadian citizens must trust their MPs to voice their interests and to ensure that the executive branch of government takes these views into account when creating new

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