Accountability

Why democracy is never a one way process

Understanding the idea of democracy is for the people, by the people and from the people, one needs to also understand how political activism is a key module for such a system to work. Democracy is to run a government which does not only give orders but provides accountability to the people who that it’s essentially working for. Not only can the participation of people help citizens to know their governments well but it also makes it easier for them to hold their governments accountable.

Accountability is almost answerability; when people hold their governments accountable, they demand legal justifications for their actions, transparency in the functioning of the governments and making sure the promises made are being fulfilled. In every democratic system, this is an obligation of those who govern to the people as the latter represent their interests and demands by securing their votes. While globalized groups or organizations, intergovernmental networks, and global coalitions have become common platforms, deciphering what action and an action performed where that constitutes accountability has become a rather challenging task. However, it’s possible to hold your government accountable even now if only you’ve been aware of the actions of those who’ve won your vote.

Here are five ways on how to become more aware of what your government is doing and how to hold it accountable

Awareness about the government actions and ways to hold them accountable for them

Know ways to contact or getting your message across to those contesting elections in the constituency you have your vote registered with. Knowing your state and local representatives — and how to contact them — is key to holding politicians accountable and fueling civic engagement. You cannot expect to point out the discrepancy between promises and actions if you don’t know the important platforms for holding those in power accountable. Community events, social media platforms and peaceful protests are ways you can get your message across to those who are or wish to be in power and these ways almost apply anywhere in the world

Elections

When it comes time for elections, it’s important to

know just how well your representative kept his or her original promises.

Maybe they promised education, but after their tenure of five years, they have left the education sector in their area of governance even more compromised. That’s your time to question them. That is the time you ask the constituent who’s fighting reelection from the constituency with which you have your vote registered and demand answers for the inconsistency on their part of deliverance verses promises.

Show up to community events

Email, social media, and cell phones can be a pressure point available anywhere, even home, but there are the knowledge and support gained at in-person events is one that lacks substitute in its magnitude. Showing your presence at public forums, committee meetings, speaking events, and other gatherings your representatives hold locally to give a message out to those in power that you’re willing to walk the extra mile to make sure the political parties deliver their manifesto promises.

Encourage friends and family

One of the most lucid ways of acquiring strength in numbers. Encouraging family and friend to become a part of political organizations you may be a part or join a protest against the actions of someone is ensures that the message you’re getting across has support and thus goes out stronger. Showing politicians and local government you’re paying attention often start with having a physical presence.

Petitions

Signing petitions in many democracies can make its way to even the Parliament for debate. For example, the UK statutory law states that if a petition receives over 100,000 signature, it will be considered for debate In the Westminster Parliament. Petitions here can raise important questions regarding government’s use of the citizen’s tax money, the executive’s actions if they go against the promises made, or hold accountable a parliamentary act if it’s considered to go against the fundamental human rights.

These are some of the few ways which we can use to increase political activity in our country or region. When each citizen is aware of how the government machinery works, and how individuals who’ve earned their vote have performed in power, a clear and constructive criticism will be heard by the electorate which is imperative to stop making democracy a one way process, and more so by the people, for the people, from the people.

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