The Importance Of Participation In Democracy

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Participation is a fundamental right (UNDP, 2013). Participation is a functional requirement of any system of Government (Birch, 2007). It is vital in modern and formal democracy (Print, 2006b). Kooiman (2000) has stated that no Government can ensure social development in a representative Government because it is unable to connect with people. There has been a hierarchical system that has led to the decline of party politics. Such a democratic system is perceived to be cut-away from everyday struggles of people and thus it does not seem inviting for participation and involvement (Bang, 2002). The benefits of higher participation is that it not only cultivates democratic virtues but also builds the capacities of individuals and gives them equal protection of interests in public life (Putnam, 2000). Places with higher participation of people are better places to live in; here schools are better, crime rates are lower, and tax-evasion is less common (Putnam 2000). Participation helps the society and also builds the capacity of individuals by enabling them to learn about society, develop civic skills and have greater appreciation of the needs and interests of other people, and of the society as whole (Verba et.al, 1995). Participation of people helps public officials ensure protection of the interest of all (Verba, et al, 1995). To ensure participation, there should be a focus on ideological, political, socio-economic relations. Many western countries including USA, UK, and

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