Definition of democracy
Democracy is a representative form of governance where the people take part decision making either directly or through elected representatives.
Mentioning the variants of democracy such as social, liberal, consensus, majoritarian and grassroots. Usually a democratic system is contrasted to what is considered its anathema. Thus liberal is contrasted to social, and consensus to majoritarian.
Statement of the hypothesis that consensus democracies are inferior to majoritarian democracies. The comparative analysis will be informed by the concepts:
That democracy is defined by the level of citizen participation and that the ideal is one based on universal suffrage
That democracy should promote egalitarianism
That democracy is defined by governance based on the rule of law
i. Definition of majoritarian democracy
ii. Explanation of ostensible origins and evolution
iii. Majoritarian democracy as the ideal for republicanism
iv. Majoritarian democracy is suited for largely homogeneous societies as opposed to segmented ones as it encourages bigotry hence intolerance
v. Statement of the fact that majoritarian democracy has not been very successful in recorded history for the reason that it fails to meet the concepts enumerated in the introduction
vi. Definition of consensus democracy
vii. Explanation of ostensible origins and evolution
viii. Consensus democracy as the best form of governance in a society segmented by such factors as ethnicity, race, religion and ideology due to its inherent attempts at bringing the sometimes disparate positions and views on board
ix. Consensus democracy discourages evolution of decisive leaders as they are likely to be branded fundamentalists or dangerous radicals
x. Consensus democracy is disadvantageous in instances where bold and swift decisions have to be made since seeking consensus is, by its very definition, a protracted process.
xi. Statement of the fact that consensus democracy is a characteristic of some modern revered states. This is a strong point in favour of consensus democracy.
Comparative analysis of majoritarian and consensus democracies
i. Where swift decisions have to be made, majoritarian democracy reigns supreme
ii. Consensus democracies encourage petty and sometimes divisive debates as emotions are likely to flare when debating issues that touch on such personal issues as culture and religion.
iii. Majoritarian democracy imperils market economy as it has a propensity to get dogmatic. Dogmatic positions discourage market economy in the sense that they stultify creativity in a society. Yet, creativity is the nub of a market economy.
iv. Majoritarian democracies are inherently unstable as, often, the minority whose voices are muffed resort to employing underground revolutionary and dangerously radical tactics to have their voices heard.
v. Consensus is more representative than majoritarian democracy as it seeks the opinion of minorities and the vulnerable in the decision making process
vi. Majoritarian democracy engenders intolerance in societies as the majority have a tendency to impose their culture and practices unto others through legislation
The most reliable evidence of the feasibility of a political theory is it’s success in practice. History is replete with empirical proof that majoritarian democracies are self-destructing. The existence of consensus democracy in such successful nations as Switzerland in the modern world is enough proof that consensus democracies are sustainable. This success can be attributed to the fact that consensus democracies are anchored on the three principles I mentioned in the introduction to this paper.