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In Search of a Morally Sensitive Democracy

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Among the students of democracy, there is a dominant trend that seeks to focus on an assessment, particularly of liberal democracy, keeping in view two main aspects: the substantive and the procedural. The procedural aspect involves constitutional guarantees, which in turn offer every citizen an equal right to participate in the political spaces that are formally open to the former without distinction. The core concern of procedural democracy is that a right-bearing citizen by virtue of their right to participate in such spaces enjoys equal worth, particularly in the electoral arena. To put simply, the right to vote carries equal value inasmuch as it has the power to decide the electoral fate of the candidate. Citizens enjoy these rights not because they belong to a particular region or religion, or speak a particular language, but because they have been bestowed with this opportunity by the Constitution. Several constitutional provisions enable a citizen not only to vote, but also to express their authentic voice in the formulation of public policies that have bearing not just on their particular interest as individuals, but on the general welfare of the public.

Democracy as an open space, thus, in constitutional terms, enables an individual citizen to exist in the country without anyone’s permission, patronage, or sympathy. Citizens, in an ideal situation, thus, do not have any need to exist in the country with anyone’s courtesy or favour. Put differently, citizenship is not based on any kind of structural hierarchy.

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Updated On : 31st Oct, 2019

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