Democratic governments - do they really serve the interests of the people?
The understanding and value of democracy, primarily in the United States, continues to provoke interest and disagreement between political thinkers. Democracy is generally understood as a government elected by the majority of people, which is exercised directly through elected representatives. Its principles are social equality, and respect for the individual within that community (Hammock 1).
Zinn defines a democratic country as one that should include universal suffrage, a bill of rights, and competition for office. He believes that there should be quality of life in society, a concern for global issues, and essentially a "government of, by, and for the people". He notes that more than 45% of potential voters that do not vote in national elections, many of these being poor and uneducated - the wealthy groups with agendas to promote, get heavily involved using their wealth to lobby their interests and sway the political groups to their needs.
He also believes that minority parties have no chance to have any impact - due to their lack of personal funds, lack of financial backing and lack of media interest, or free access to prime time on television. Zinn states that the American population is generally powerless "to participate in the economic decision making, which affects his life at every moment." Corporations and Industry dictate these outcomes, in regards to allocation of use of resources and spoiling of the environment. It is not difficult to note that the wealthy have access to the 'big time lawyers' to protect or defend them, whereas the poor are treated worse, affecting their court hearing, right to bail or quality of counsel. Even within a single county, Zinn comments that the quality of education differs considerably, in regards to size of...