The term democracy is derived from the two Greek words “demos” (people) and “kratio” (rule or power). It can therefore be defined as a form of government where there is an influence by the people or their elected representative in the decision making processes which affect the nation/state hence their lives. There are two basic forms of democracy, direct democracy and liberal representative democracy (used in the Caribbean).
Direct democracy is seen as the one and only true form of democracy, it removes the many distinctions found between the government and the governed as well as those between the state and the civil society. In addition, it allows the uncontrolled and continuous involvement of the masses in the activities of the government. This form of democracy has never been achieved in any Caribbean nation since it is seen as being very unrealistic. It also goes against the Functionalist view that there is a need for one group of persons to rule over another, in order to obtain equilibrium (balance) within society.
The second form of democracy however is more realistic and can be readily applied to the Caribbean social and political systems. This indirect form of democracy has three dimensions:
• The moral dimension which recognizes the worth of each individual and their right to life, personal freedoms and civil and social liberties.
• The economic dimension holds the view that it is the individual’s right to own or inherit property in order to gain finance, also to produce, buy and sell goods and services. Adam Smith argued that the state’s role in such affairs and the economy would govern itself using the characteristics of free trade and competition.
• The Political dimension has four tenets, three of which were introduced by John Locke an English Philosopher; Individual consent, representation and constitutionalism; In these tenets Locke basically argued that the authority of the governm...