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What Democracy Looks Like When It Works

Democracy is a successful form of government when done correctly. But what does "correctly" look like?"

Democracy Index
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Democracy Index

The top 3 countries on Wikipedia that had the highest rankings for democracy were Norway, Iceland, and Sweden. The democracy index is calculated by a survey distributed by a UK based group that asks questions that define a democracy. For example, one of the questions was asking whether the country has free and fair elections. Based on these questions it was determined that the countries with an index closer to 10 were closer to having a democracy. This graphic reveals that there are better democracies in the western hemisphere than the eastern, with a high lack of a democratic government in Russia and many African counties. This is important because the countries with the highest democracy index is are the countries with socialized democracy and they are considered to be some of the most successful countries due to their high average life expectancies and high average index of people that consider themselves to be happy. Therefore, if people want an example of a country that has a great democracy, the should look at the Scandinavian countries.

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US Constitution
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US Constitution

The United States Constitution is the oldest living constitution in the world that has been in use since it was written. Many countries throughout the world have had many constitutions over time, but the US has had the same one since 1787. This document is a manifestation of a representative democracy that we consider to be successful because it has been standing for so long. Although the US has committed many awful monstrosities toward minorities in the past, like discrimination against African-Americans or putting Japanese citizens into internment camps, the Constitution itself describes a fairly just type of government. The only weakness is the electoral college because every once in awhile, like in 2016, the electoral results don't match the popular vote. All in all, even though there have been misuses of the Constitution in throughout history, we think that it is a document with an accurate description of a successful representative democracy.

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This Land is Your Land
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This Land is Your Land

This classic American song is an accurate representation of a democracy at work because it describes the idea that a country belongs to its people. The lyrics that say "This land is your land, this land is my land" show how people are the ones that have control over their own nation. The song also states that "this land was made for you and me," which is another factor of a democracy. The main reason a government is in power is because it needs to provide for its people.

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Green Revolution in Iran
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Green Revolution in Iran

After the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to office, citizens were almost certain that the votes had been changed to favor him. While their democracy was tampered with, they took advantage of their power as participants of their democracy to protest the election results. This is a success on their part because their activism helped them preserve their democracy and stand up against injustice because their rights were taken away from them.

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Jamila Raqib: The Secret to Effective Nonviolent Resistance
ted.com

Jamila Raqib: The Secret to Effective Nonviolent Resistance

Jamila Raqib talks about how civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance can help create change. A real democracy would allow for these types of resistance because it gives people a way to express their discontent for something in the government in a way that doesn't harm anyone. For example, she talks about how ISIS opened up an extremist school in Mosul in 2014. However, on the first day of school, not a single parent had sent their child to school. Despite living in a city that lacks democracy, the people of Mosul were able to resist the unjust brainwashing methods of ISIS.

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Democracy from the Renaissance
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Democracy from the Renaissance

Democracy has been a valuable form of government since the Renaissance, which can be seen in this painting by Raphael. A successful government can be seen as active participation from citizens. When most citizens are able to have their voice heard in a democracy, it helps maintain the fairness and equality of the law. This painting reflects the sentiment toward a democratic government during the Renaissance because it was the birth of Humanism. Since Humanism emphasizes individual freedom and autonomy, democracy became a more popular idea due to the fact that it aligned with the philosophy.

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Participating in Democracy
cognitiveliberty.net

Participating in Democracy

This image shows the freedom of speech which is one of the main identifiers of a democracy. In order for a democracy to function well, citizens must be able to freely express their opinions even if they don't reflect those of the majority. The diversity of voices and the freedom to think and speak are important aspects of keeping a democracy running smoothly. In this image, protestors are demonstrating their discontent with Donald Trump's election by illustrating what a real democracy looks like. This refers to the fact that he won the electoral college but not the popular vote, which is an undemocratic victory.

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