Sample Political Science Essay Paper on Abuse of Democracy: Burkina Faso

Abuse of Democracy: Burkina Faso

Democracy involves participations by all in decision making and planning the way forward particularly on matters pertaining to nation building and prosperity. Even though as many citizens have the opportunity to have their views heard, it is almost impossible to incorporate all these divergent views into practice. The core pillar of democracy is the ability of the citizens to freely and fairly choose their leaders in an inclusive and competitive political process especially through voting using guidelines stipulated in the laws of a given country. The other aspect of democracy involves the participation of citizens in making laws of the land. This is primarily achieved through referendums where citizens have the freedom to amend or adopt new rules. However, there have been cases of abuse of democracy especially by political leaders.

            These abuses are generally characterised by leaders who mostly refuse to vacate office despite their terms lawfully ending. Moreover, there are scenarios where leaders use their political positions to amend the laws to favor their motives. In 2014, lawmakers in Burkina Faso conspired with the then president, Blaise Compaore, to amend the constitution so that he could be allowed to extend his 27-year rule (International Monetary Fund par III). This move was termed as selfish and ill-informed since Blaise had been in power since 1987 when he took over through a coup. The citizens felt that their views were not sought in this plan to extend Blaise’s rule. Citing poor governance from the then leadership, the citizens argued that they saw no need for the extension of his term. With no option left for the citizens to express their dissatisfaction, they organized massive protests and set ablaze the country’s parliament buildings. The move was seen as an effort to express the citizens’ dissatisfaction with the legislators whom they felt should be representing their views. The protests bore fruit: the government through the minister for communications announced that it had dropped the controversial and unlawful proposal (‘BURKINA FASO: Presidential Candidates’ par IV).

            Citizens can play an important role in enhancing democracy. This is through actively participating in making of laws that safeguard democracy and limit violation of democracy. The citizens can also ensure they have chosen representatives who have good reputation in matters of democracy and further propose tough actions against the violators (‘Documents On Democracy’ par II). Lastly, citizens should embrace unity and tolerate views from all quotas however different they may be from their own. Citizen’s role in propagating and safeguarding democracy has changed over the years in different perspectives. This is due to the fact that in modern days, citizens are part of the law or constitutions making process. This is evidently different as compared to early days when such tasks were entrusted to few people who could formulate proposals (Connor par I). These proposals could be endorsed by a small chosen number of professionals then adopted as governing laws. This can be interpreted as citizens being more powerful compared to the past decades. This can further be affirmed by the fact that citizens have in modern days been able to question their leaders and even push for their resignation and prosecution in serious cases. This demonstrates the changes that have occurred in terms of democracy perspectives mostly on the citizens’ side.

Work Cited

‘BURKINA FASO: Presidential Candidates’. Afr Res Bull Polit 52.8 (2015): 20674A-20674B. Web.

Connor, Michan. ‘Uniting Citizens After Citizens United: Cities, Neoliberalism, And Democracy’. American Studies 54.1 (2015): 5-27. Web.

‘Documents On Democracy’. Journal of Democracy 25.2 (2014): 183-187. Web.

International Monetary Fund. ‘Burkina Faso: Selected Issues’. IMF Staff Country Reports 14.230 (2014): 1. Web.