NCERT Class 9 Solutions: What is Democracy? Why is Democracy (Democratic Politics-I)? Chapter 2– Part 1
Q-1. Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries? Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.
Country A: People who do not accept the country’s official religion do not have a right to vote
Explanation: In a democratic country each and every person has right to practice their religion, believe in their beliefs, and voice their opinions without fear of persecution. Therefore, by definition, democratic countries must ideally be secular, i.e. they should not have an official religion.
Country B: The same party has been winning elections for the last twenty years
Answer: Not sure
Explanation: This is the confusing statement because we can’t conclude anything from it whether it is democratic or undemocratic country because it shows election process so it might be democratic country but at the other hand it tells that the same party is winning election from last 20 years so it might be possible that it will be undemocratic.
Country C: Ruling party has lost in the last three elections
Explanation: This will be definitely be a democratic country because the party which is currently in rule has lost election three times. Therefore the elections are honest and fair and even the ruling executive cannot influence them.
Country D: There is no independent election commission
Explanation: Fair elections are the cornerstone of every democratic country. To ensure fairness of elections the body responsible for conducting elections and counting of ballots has to be independent of the executive. That is, there should be and independent Election Commission (EC).
Q-2: Here is some information about four countries. Based on this information, how would you classify each of these countries? Write ‘democratic’, ‘undemocratic’ or ‘not sure’ against each of these.
(a) Country P: The parliament cannot pass a law about the army without the consent of the Chief of Army
Explanation: This is only a hoax in the name of democracy, it is a military rule disguised as democracy. The real power is in the hands of the military and every major decision is made by the Chief of Army. It does not satisfy the value of authorization since the elected executive is not authorized to do what is best for the country.
(b) Country Q: The parliament cannot pass a law reducing the powers of the judiciary
Explanation: In India, and around the world in most democracy judiciary is granted certain powers over the elected executive (the government). Additionally the judiciary is independent and supreme arbiter for all matters concerning the law that is in interpreting the constitution. Judiciary can even challenge the executive if has reason to believe that there is a threat to word or intent of the constitution. However in democracy the voice is people is supreme (maybe through constitution) which is exercised through legislature or parliament and as such parliament should be allow to make laws and amend the constitution for judiciary.
(c) Country R: The country’s leaders cannot sign any treaty with another country without taking permission from its neighboring country.
Explanation: In a democracy the participation should be from the citizens who are affected by the decisions of their country. The elected executive should be allowed to do whatever is best for the country without any interference. Without this power the principle of authorizations is not satisfied and the system becomes undemocratic.
(d) Country S: All the major economic decisions about the country are taken by officials of the central bank which the ministers cannot change.
Explanation: In a true democracy only the executive chosen by the people should have the ultimate authorization to make laws. If the executive feels that that central bank is not making the decisions in best interest of the country they should be able to nominate or change central bank officials or even pass laws curbing is power. Elected executive represents the will of people and other organizations like the central bank are centers of expertise which enable it to make better decisions.