5 Ways Illiteracy Can Affect Democracy.

The lack of knowledge about what democracy means among a large part of the citizens of a society can sustain some deleterious effects. Here are 5 ways illiteracy can affect democracy. All you need do is focus first on what the world really mean by democracy or and democratic society, while you also pay attention to how the presence of education about democracy or the absence of it in the masses can really have a serious influence on the peaceful of smooth running of a society that is expected to be democratic.

What is Democracy?

Democracy  is a form of government in which the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation as in direct democracy, or it could be a situation where the people use their right to choose governing officials that will represent them as in indirect democracy or representative democracy. The notion of democracy has evolved over time considerably. Though the original form of democracy was a direct democracy, the most common and existent one today is a representative democracy, where the people elect government officials to govern on their behalf such as in a parliamentary or presidential democracy, depending on the kind of country where any of the options is practiced.

Any society can be peaceful as long as it is democratic and this is possible because of the very benefits or goodies which comes with democracy as an appreciable form of government. These goodies are also referred to its principles.

Principles of Democracy

  1. Freedom of Assembly
  2. Freedom of Association
  3. Property Rights
  4. Freedom of Religion
  5. Freedom of Speech
  6. Inclusiveness and Equality Rights
  7. Citizenship
  8. Consent of the Governed
  9. Voting Rights
  10. Freedom from Unwarranted Governmental Deprivation of the Right to Life and Liberty
  11. Minority Rights

Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by an individual, as in autocratic systems like absolute monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in an oligarchy—oppositions inherited from ancient Greek philosophy.

Democracy’s role is to make visible and challenge those relations by allowing for difference, dissent and antagonisms in decision-making processes. The major question is whether democracy can freely thrive or can it be truly effective where illiteracy has a massive number of followers than those who are educated to practice it and make it count its worth. Let us look into some of the 5 ways illiteracy can affect democracy.

5 Ways Illiteracy Can Affect Democracy.

Today, there are a lot of educated people walking the face of the earth who are politically ignorant or illiterate without them knowing it. And this is problem is actually preventing democracy from blossoming as it really should. For this reason however, we have decided to bring to fore the 5 ways illiteracy can affect democracy:

1. Political Disqualification

Anyone who is uneducated at least to Degree level in the university is not allowed to participate in campaigning let alone holding any political position in the country. This means education is a compulsory criterion in the political arena of any modern country who operates on true democracy as this will bolster the complete trust of the citizens in the candidate who on the other hand is believed to be knowledgeable enough to understand the world politics.

2. Persistent Violation of Political Rights

Another one of the 5 ways illiteracy can affect democracy is that an illiterate may not be aware-of his or her political rights and responsibilities and thus can not discharge any of it. Citizens without this awareness can easily violate political rights when he willfully receives money from politicians who rob people of their future during elections, or when he participates in thuggery by joining to steal ballot papers.

3. Political Apathy

This is one of the 5 ways illiteracy can affect democracy by causing a large gap of non-participation in politics by the populace, and this by implication will cause nothing other than anarchy, or worst still open doors up to tyrants or the army. Hence, the society that should be  democratic become subjected to a despotic rule. An illiterate person may not hold any leadership position at the party level, or he or she may think they are not qualified to run for political office.

4. Wrong Voting Decision 
One who is not literate might not be able to differentiate the names or symbols on the posters or ballot papers and thus cast vote wrongly. Thus, such person might vote for the wrong person. Apart from making the wrong voting decision, an illiterate at the election ground can be easily manipulated and used to enforce the victory of parasites in the election.
5. Wrong Political Attitude
Illiteracy can affect democracy when it buoys the wrong attitude in the masses on the platform that they do not readily understand the democratic process. This explains that the people tend to have the same notion for all the forms of government and so democracy too may not be an exception. No doubt, this will have a very deleterious effect on the progress of western democracy, especially in Africa, except if a very rigorous reorientation programme is carried out.

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