While admitting that Democracy is the best system, we have to remember that there are several possible demerits which must be controlled.
In-fact, the success of Democracy can be possible only when it works in such conditions as are essential for its successful working.
It can be successful only when following conditions are secured:
1. Democratic Society:
A democratic society is essential for the success of a democratic government. A democratic society is one which willingly accepts the values of liberty and equality. It is a society which is not characterised by a democratic thinking, no democracy can be successful. Without being supported by a democratic society, no democracy can successfully work.
2. Economic Equality:
Economic equality in society can guarantee the success of democracy. Without economic democracy, political democracy remains true only on papers. People cannot be fed on votes, they need foods. They cannot live on mere slogans and populism. Economic equality involving equitable distribution of income and wealth and adequate opportunities for livelihood, is an essential condition for the success of democracy.
3. Educated and Enlightened Citizenship:
Democracy is a system which involves a continuous and active involvement of the people in the political process. Without popular and effective political participation, no democracy can be successful. For this purpose, it is essential that literacy should be widespread and people must be enlightened in respect of their rights, freedoms and duties as citizens of a democratic system.
No democracy can work successfully if its citizens are not prepared to sacrifice their individual interests for the sake of social good. Only educated and enlightened citizens are expected to realize and follow this vital condition for the success of democracy. Illiteracy and ignorance always hinder the success of democracy. The experience of our own country is before us.
4. Full respect for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms:
Democracy is regarded as the best form of government because it grants and guarantees fundamental human rights and freedoms to all its people. For this purpose it is essential for a democracy to take all steps which are necessary for granting, preserving and protecting the rights the people. For this purpose Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, Judicial Review, Decentralisation of Power and Independence of Judiciary have to be ensured.
5. Freedom of Press:
Without freedom of press, we cannot even imagine the working of a democratic government. Public opinion has to be the basis of all policies and decisions of a democratic government. The government must keep a continuous track of the demands of public opinion.
Press is the means for transmitting the public opinion to the government. Only a free press can perform this task in a desired manner. It is only through a free press that the people can exercise their right to freedom of speech and expression as well as their right to discuss and debate, criticize or support the policies and programmes of their government. Press is often described as the fourth essential but non-governmental institution of democracy.
6. Well Organised and Active Opposition:
In a democratic system political parties play a key role. These contest elections, wield power when voted to majority or act as opposition when not is majority. The majority party uses power of the government and the opposition parties criticise the policies of ruling party. Both have to play their respective roles and only then can a democracy work.
The ruling party can misuse its position by ignoring the interests of the minorities and the people in general. There is every need to keep it under supervision and check. It must be prevented from misusing its power in the name of majority. For this purpose the existence of a strong, well- organised and well-functioning opposition is always essential.
7. Mature Leadership:
The people are sovereign but they have to be led by their leaders and only then can they fruitfully exercise their power. In a democracy the leaders are in reality the policy-makers and the decision-makers. They can perform these tasks only when they are able, mature, honest and dedicated.
8. Spirit of Tolerance and Compromise:
In a democratic government no person, group or party can be permitted to act arbitrarily. No one should try to impose one’s will upon others and use power in an arbitrary way. This can be possible only when the people have a high sense of tolerance, accommodation and compromise.
The majority should not ignore the minority. It must respect the wishes of the minority. The minority should not act in a way as can create hindrances in the way of exercise of power by the majority. This can be secured only when all the people accept tolerance, accommodation, compromise, secularism and mutual give-and-take in national interest as their values.
9. Well organised and Powerful system of Local Government:
For a successful working of a democratic system one of the most essential conditions is the existence of a well organised and powerful system of local government. A local government is that through which the people of a local area meet their local needs and problems with the help of local resources and through a locally elected government.
It is as such a training school of democracy. Local government system constitutes the grass root level base of a democratic system. Just as no big building can be raised without broad and solid foundations, likewise no democratic government can be really organised and effectively run without the existence of a board, strong and efficient system of local government working at the foundation level.
10. Democratic Institutions:
Independence of judiciary, rule of law, decentralisation of powers, separation of powers, sound and independent election machinery, healthy education system, and liberalism in thought and actions are the other essential requirements for the success of a democratic system. All these features must be properly secured only then can a democracy be expected to work successfully.
At these are the essential conditions for the successful working of a democracy. These conditions can help a democracy to reduce its possible demerits as well as to let its merits help the people in developing their personalities and in enjoying their lives.