As I have learned the definition of democracy in my high school, it is ‘by the people, for the people’ which means that it is a system where the citizens of a country have the right to choose their leaders. This ideology was established and implemented centuries ago by different governments and majority of today’s leadership is democratic. It is a good alternative for dictatorship where the government suppresses its citizens and takes away their rights of thought, opinion, and practices and so on. However, today’s democracy is not the same as the democracy that was established in the beginning. Its form and purpose has been changed and exaggerated many times. Almost every country is applying democracy in a different way from the others. For example, democracy in the US is not the same the democracy in my country, Somaliland because our government has limited the degree or extent to which we can apply democracy in different situations. Whenever I hear the word ‘democracy’, my mind doesn’t really associate a good image with it. This is because it reminds me of the misuse of democracy by many societies. For example, it was few weeks ago when the United States of America legalized gay marriage which is morally and ethically wrong in my opinion. Thus, democracy, if applied properly, brings good solutions for overcoming many constraints such us economic constraints, revolutions, and monopolistic leaderships.
I would like to highlight my personal experience and thought on democracy and its effect on my society. From 1969 to 1991, the military dictator Siyad Barre was ruling the ‘Democratic’ Republic of Somalia. Somaliland joined Somalia 9 years before this ruler to make one Great Somalia. However, this dictatorship government shed the blood of the citizens and oppressed the people for 22 years. The Somaliland citizens could not bear this military oppression and revolution happened to take back our independence where nearly 55000 people died in the civil war. After that, we elected a democratic government in 1991. From that time, there were three consecutive peaceful elections and power transfer in my country which continues until now. However, the freedom and autonomy given to the citizens created tensions in the country. Because of democracy, the oppositions to the government are countless.
Therefore, the government is struggling to win the elections and defeat its opposition instead of focusing on the development of the country. In addition to that, the freedom of speech given to the people encouraged the press and some other politicians to point out only the negatives of the ruling government which created chaos among the society. All in all, democracy has its advantages and disadvantages; if we use it with certain limitations for the betterment of its citizens, it would benefit a lot and will lead to development in both the material and the moral world.