10 Essentials Conditions Required for the Success of Democracy

According to Mill the best form of government is the representative government. It safeguards freedom, right of self-determination. It encourages free discussion which is necessary for the emergence of truth. It reconciles the individual freedom with political equality.

In view of his optimism with representative democracy, Mill lays down several conditions for its success.

1. A scheme of individual rights which adequately safeguard the minorities against the will of elected majority.

2. Universal education to enable the citizens to become aware of their rights and obligations.

3. Active, self helping character of the citizenry.

4. Proportional representation (Hare system) to ensure minorities representation in proportion to their strength.

5. Voting by open of public ballot.

6. Equal voting right for all irrespective of sex or colour. In “Subjection of Women” he analyzes reasons for giving suffrage to women.

7. Indirect election.

8. State funding of election.

9. Institution of second chamber to safeguard the interests of those sections which would otherwise not be adequately represented in the popular assembly.

10. No voting rights to moral deviants, legally bankrupts and those unable to pay local taxes.


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Mills analysis of representative democracy contains both; conservative as well as innovative elements. His plea to preserve and protect the existing institutions is mark of his conservative stance. He is innovative in the sense that he supports voting rights for women.

But ultimately he has been hailed as a great democrat whose suggestions and reforms have been widely appreciated, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century.

Submitted by : Dr. Reshma, Category : Knowledge