In recent times, the political discourse in Bangladesh has touched upon the question of democracy and development. It was triggered by comments from a Minister and a senior ruling party leader who said, âWe believe in democracy, but not too much democracy,â and argued that this is good for development and progress.
His comments attracted a flurry of criticisms as well as commendations and a muddled opinion piece by a senior self-exiled journalist in this column.
This piece is not about different shades of democracy. It is about the broader question, âIs democracy good for development?â Nevertheless, it would be useful to have a working definition of democracy to answer the question.
There is almost universal consensus about the six basic attributes of democracy, irrespective of the form it takes. They are: (i) established popular sovereignty, (ii) majority rule, (iii) individual rights, (iv) free and fair elections, (v) citizen involvement and (vi) open compromise. Read more »