Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Managerial Democracy: Basis for or Simple Byproduct of Elections

Although regular elections can be considered a technique used by managerial states to “channel participation away from unpredictable, disruptive, and spontaneous forms of [political] participation”, this should not diminish their political or social value (Opello and Rosow 158). Democratic elections help to keep the government responsive to the needs of a current population. Because a democratic government is updated relatively frequently, it stays relevant to a constantly developing world and state. Additionally, because a representative democracy is held accountable by the general population, politicians are more inclined to voice their constituents concerns in order to maintain their current position in government. However, this mentality of consistent campaigning is also the price to be payed for maintaining a government responsive to the needs of a population, by making it significantly less efficient. Nevertheless, it is the fact that elections allow a government to be run with the consent of the governed that makes it an effective tactic of managerial states. If the people believed their views were not being acknowledged by the government, they would resort to other more unpredictable and disruptive forms of political participation. It is this sense of political participation, which would not be present in a state in which the citizenry is ignored, that pacifies a population. Therefore, the managerial aspect of regular elections should be seen as a byproduct of successful representation of a governed body, rather than as a corrupting factor, thus allowing the positive and beneficial qualities of egalitarian elections to show.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with the points you've made on the positive aspects of the election process. I especially like the idea that although elections do in fact placate the population, this is a good thing because it allows the government to do their job instead of having to cope with rebellion and dissent. This part of elections also serves the purpose of benefiting the public good. When people believe they are participating in government, they are more inclined to content with the current elected candidates because they feel they have aided in their appointment.