What roles do leaders play in ensuring stable democracy?

Leaders play an important role in ensuring a stable democracy.  If a leader exists, then the democratic process of free, fair and competitive elections can continue to move forward. As David Friedman states in his study, Income, Democracy and Leader Turnover “leader change itself, not underlying fragility of the state, that prompts liberalization in richer autocracies” (3). Liberalization does not always lead to a stable democracy, but it does promise more of a chance of modernization, which does bring about more democracy (Inglehart and Welzel). A leader’s actions are not what contribute to ensuring a democracy. Rather it is the ability to remove old and implement new leaders that maintains stable democracies.

 

The importance of the role of a leader is best seen in the political battle of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his critics. In order to ensure a stable democracy, elections are imperative. By threatening the power  with removal, the people place checks and balances on the leader that are crucial for democracy to function. At the end of the article, Mitchell Barak, a political analyst, comments on the allegations on Prime Minister Netanhayu, that he misused funds, by saying, “’The average person who lives in Tel Aviv, who leans to the left, is flabbergasted and offended by it, but they were never going to vote for him’” (The New York Times). The electoral process of voting in and out our leaders is what contributes to ensuring a stable democracy.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/world/middleeast/israeli-inquiry-faults-netanyahus-over-expenses.html

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One thought on “What roles do leaders play in ensuring stable democracy?

  1. I agree with what Inglehart and Welzel discussed in their article and what you touch upon here. Modernization does not necessarily equal a democracy but it makes it more probable in the long run due to social and cultural changes. You mention that a leader’s the idea of a checks and balance system is what ensures a stable democracy rather than their actions. I agree that it is a part of it but I also think leaders can lead by example to show their beliefs and ensure a stable democracy.

    The way leaders ensure a stable democracy in regards to the checks and balance system is exemplified very well in the article you chose. The actions of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are ones that are clearly not supported by the majority of the people in Israel. However, because they have a stable democracy with an election process, the people have the ability to vote him out of office if his spending habits do not change.

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