Definition of democracy – This time we will learn about democracy starting from its understanding, history and various kinds of democracy. Democracy is actually not the original Indonesian language but comes from the Greek word “demos” which means’ people ‘and “kratos” which means’ power “.
So, democracy means people’s power, the people are the holders of the highest power through elected people’s representatives. This highest power includes the economic sector, the political sector, the cultural sector and the social sector.
In general, the definition of democracy is to provide opportunities for all Indonesian people to be involved in decision making. The decisions taken will affect the lives of the people themselves. In this case the people act as the highest authority holders. Furthermore, the democratic government system provides opportunities for all people to actively participate in the government system.
Experts give an understanding of deeocracy which sometimes differs from its upstream but its estuary or goal is the same. For example Abraham Lincoln said that the notion of democracy is a system of government designed from the people, by the people and for the people. Meanwhile, Charles Costello said that the definition of democracy is a social system and a political system that can limit government power by law in order to obtain rights treatment or protect the rights of citizens.
History of Democracy
If we look at history, the origin of this democracy was applied in ancient Greece so that the word “democracy” in Indonesian also comes from DEMOS and KRATOS, namely from Greek. In a system of government like this, the people as a whole are directly involved in making decisions about the sustainability of a country.
So. In government, the people are directly involved in managing the state, whatever state matters must be discussed with the people. In ancient Greece, the democracy system that was carried out was pure democracy or direct democracy.
However, in Indonesia, a direct democracy system like Ancient Greece is no longer possible to implement, considering that the Indonesian people, who have 260 million people, of course apply a direct democracy system that is no longer possible and irrelevant. So, the people can no longer be directly involved in every people’s decision making.
Now, formed like this, namely the existence of the House of Representatives (DPR) which will represent the voice of the people from every region in Indonesia. So it is said that democracy implemented in Indonesia is indirect democracy or representative democracy.
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During Soekarnoe’s era, Indonesia had run a guided democracy system, then during the Soeharto era, it implemented Pancasila democracy. This democracy continues until the reform era, so the people must understand very well about this democracy. At this time Indonesia was able to carry out, as members of the legislature, direct regional governance.
What are the Principles of Democracy
In democracy, this government system already has patrons and principles that must not be violated so that democracy remains focused and runs as its function. Here are 7 principles of democracy that must be understood so that this government system can run well.
1. The Indonesian state is based on the constitution
As contained in the Basic Law (UUD), that the constitution is the foundation of the state. The purpose of this constitution is to limit government authority and to be able to fulfill people’s rights. So that later the people will not be mistreated by the government.
2. Justice is impartial and free
The meaning of free judiciary is independent and impartial so that the government may not interfere in the judiciary and what is prioritized is neutrality in order to understand every problem in the judiciary clearly and correctly. This neutrality will allow judges to freely decide cases according to the crime committed and according to the existing law without any pressure and interference from other parties.
3. Freedom of opinion and association
Indonesian citizens have the freedom to form certain organizations and form associations and do not prevent and restrict people’s opinions. However, that does not mean that you can argue arbitrarily. Every member of the organization still expresses their opinion wisely and well.
4. Change of government periodically
The next principle of democracy is the change of government. Reigns are impermanent and continuous but are periodically limited. The purpose of limiting power or government is to prevent abuse of power by a certain person or party.
Elections must be carried out honestly and fairly so that people can get reliable leaders who are wanted by the people, not only by certain groups outside the people.
5. The position of all people is equal before the law
Justice and truth cannot be created if law enforcement is still impartial. So everyone is equal in the eyes of the law so that law enforcement is easy and the truth can be applied easily too. This same position causes every citizen who is guilty or convicted by the court to receive a sentence in accordance with the law.
6. Guarantee of human rights
The right to human rights must be implemented if the government in this democratic system is to run smoothly. Every citizen must be protected with basic rights such as life and get proper treatment.
Also see: Definition of Human Rights, Kinds, Characteristics and Violations
7. Press freedom
Finally, the principle of democracy is press freedom. The press must be a funnel for conveying the aspirations of citizens so that the government can be criticized and advised by the public, because every government policy is for the public welfare.
Another function of the press is as a medium for delivering the socialization of government programs, the point is that communication can be established between the people or citizens and the government as a policy maker to the people.
Characteristics of Democracy
To say a country has run a democratic system well, that country must already have the characteristics of democracy, what are the characteristics of democracy? Let us see below.
1. All decisions are determined by the government
Decisions taken must of course be based on people’s aspirations and not for personal or group interests. Thus, corruption practices can be prevented, as can collusion and nepotism.
2. Applying the characteristics of the constitution
This has to do with the interests of the will or power of the people. The law must be carried out fairly.
3. Have people’s representatives
A democratic country must have carried out the characteristics of democracy, namely that a country must have representative institutions. In Indonesia there is already a legislative body which is called the DPR (People’s Representative Council). Through this institution, the people can delegate state affairs, power and people’s sovereignty to the DPR.
4. Organizing general elections
General elections or government elections must be held periodically within a certain period so that there is no abuse of power.
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5. The existence of a party system
The party is a vehicle and means of democracy. Through this party, the people can choose whoever they want to convey their aspirations (members of the people’s representative council). In addition, the DPR can control the government’s performance. If the government which is run by the president is wrong and deviates from it, the DPR can take action through legal channels so that the government does not abuse people’s power and state affairs.
Definition of democracy | principles of democracy | characteristics of democracy | history of democracy | kinds of democracy.
Types of Democracy
Here are some types of democracy when viewed from the channeling of the people’s will.
Formal Democracy: formal democracy does not reduce economic inequality at all, it only focuses on politics as a result.
Material Democracy: This is the opposite, the material democracy system does not reduce the political gap at all and it focuses on the economic sector only.
Combined Democracy: This is a democratic system that occurs from the collaboration of the two democratic systems, namely formal democracy and material democracy.
Several forms of democracy
Direct Democracy (Direct Democracy). This is a system of government that directly involves the people in either decision-making or general elections or is called pure deemocracy.
Indirect Democracy (Indirect Democracy). This is a government system that does not directly involve the people in decision-making, but through people’s representatives who are in the legislature. Example: decisions are determined and formulated by people’s representatives such as the DPR, DPD and DPRD.
So, which countries run their government systems using a democratic system? Here we see an example of a democracy.
Some countries with democratic systems
- United States of America
Thus a review of the meaning of democracy, history, democratic principles, the characteristics of democracy, types and examples of democratic countries, hopefully it can increase our knowledge of statehood.