Key Process of Democracy

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Democratic governance is as much concerned with process as it is with outcomes, and democratic processes such as fair elections contribute to democratic governance. Yet, free and open elections alone are not enough to guarantee democratic governance. There are more specific processes at work that help support democratic governance and policy making on a day-to-day basis. In addition, there are principles such as equal justice under the law and due process that are considered to be emblems of democratic governance. Along with other democratic principles, they foster the democratic and participatory process. A local citizen speaking before the city planning commission and a highly paid corporate lobbyist seeking to influence federal legislation each play an integral role in the democratic process. Their engagement in the democratic process, no matter how large or small, promotes democratic governance and contributes to the everyday workings of democratic government.

 

To prepare for this Discussion:

 

  • Review the article “War v. Justice: Terrorism Cases, Enemy Combatants, and Political Justice in U.S. Courts” in this week’s Learning Resources. Think about the role of democratic principles in the cases described in the article. Consider how democratic principles contribute to democratic governance in the referenced cases.
  • Review the article “Strategic Lobbying: Demonstrating How Legislative Context Affects Interest Groups’ Lobbying Tactics” in this week’s Learning Resources. Note the democratic processes that lobbying groups used.
  • Consider how key democratic processes contribute to democratic governance and to the day-to-day workings of government.
  • Select one specific principle or process that you think contributes to democratic governance.
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