After being established in 2007 by a resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly, September 15 is celebrated as International Day of Democracy (UNGA). According to the United Nations,
“the International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to assess the state of democracy around the world.”
Self government is a form of government in which the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation “direct democracy”, or to choose governing officials to do so “representative democracy”. Cornerstones of democracy include freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life and minority rights.
Cleisthenes – Father of Democracy
Although this Athenian democracy only lasted two centuries, its invention by Cleisthenes, known as “The Father of Democracy,” was one of ancient Greece’s most lasting contributions to the modern world. The Greek direct democracy system would pave the way for representative democracies all over the world.
Types-Day of Democracy
1. Direct Democracy
The Athenian democracy of the fifth century BC is thought to be the first well-documented direct democracy. The assembly, composed of male citizens, the boulê, composed of 500 citizens, and the law courts, composed of a massive number of jurors chosen by lot, with no judges, were the main bodies in the Athenian democracy.
All citizens (adult males who had completed their military training; women, slaves, and plebs were not citizens) are invited to participate in all political decisions in a direct democracy, such as ancient Athens. This type of democracy no longer exists. Citizens are continuously involved in the exercise of power in this form of democracy, and decisions are made by majority rule.
In the modern era Switzerland still has a direct democracy where citizens have more power than in a representative democracy.
2. Representative Democracy
Representatives are elected by the people and entrusted with the task of governance in a representative democracy. Australia is a democracy with a representative government.
In contrast to direct democracy, representative democracy, also known as indirect democracy, is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected individuals representing a group of people. Representative democracy can be used in both the parliamentary and presidential systems of government.
Power is concentrated in the hands of representatives elected by the people in a representative democracy. If electoral systems require or encourage voters to vote for political parties or candidates associated with political parties, political parties frequently become central to this form of democracy (as opposed to voting for individual representatives)
Themes of Democracy Day
The IPU has urged parliaments to mark the International Day of Democracy with a special event, which should take place on or near September 15th, depending on the circumstances. The day will provide an opportunity for parliaments to: Highlight the importance of democracy, what it entails, the challenges it faces as well as the opportunities it provides, and the central responsibility that all parliaments have as the key institution of democracy;
Theme of 2008
Examine and debate how well parliament performs its democratic functions, possibly using a self-evaluation, and identify what steps it can take to improve its effectiveness.
Theme of 2013
In 2013, the IPU promoted the International Day of Democracy through its Member Parliaments in 162 countries around the world. As a result, a number of parliaments around the world have announced events to take place on or near September 15th.
The theme for the year was “Strengthening Voices for Democracy,” and IPU launched an online contest to hear and gather stories from local democracy champions who were able to make their voices heard. These stories were meant to motivate people to take action in their own communities.
Theme of 2014
The 2014 International Day of Democracy theme is “Engaging Youth in Democracy.”
If disillusioned and alienated youth around the world are to participate in political decision-making, the IPU has urged action and mindset changes.
Theme of 2015
“Space for Civil Society” was the theme for 2015.
Theme of 2016
The theme for 2016 was Democracy and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Theme of 2018
The theme for this year’s commemoration was “Democracy Under Stress: Solutions for a Changing World.” The Day, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is also an opportunity to emphasize the values of liberty and respect for human rights as essential components of democracy.
Theme of 2019
The theme for Democracy Day in 2019 was “participation.”
“This year’s International Day of Democracy serves as a reminder that democracy is about people.” Democracy is based on inclusion, equal treatment, and participation, and it is a critical component of peace, sustainable development, and human rights.
Theme Of 2020
“COVID-19: A Spotlight on Democracy” is the theme for International Day of Democracy 2020.
Almost every country is taking steps to combat the pandemic. It is also critical that the countries uphold the rule of law, protect and respect international standards and fundamental legal principles, as well as the right to access justice, remedies, and due process of law.
Principle of Democracy
No democracy can exist without the following principles:
- Role of Law
- Freedom of Press
- Respect of Human Right
- Active Political Process
- Enlightened Citizen
Further if you want to learn about the Liberal Concepts In The Theory Of International Relations, read the previous blog. The following link is provided: