What is Democracy? Why Democracy? Extra Question Answers Class 9

Class 9 Civics Chapter 1 “What is Democracy? Why Democracy?” Extra Question Answers. The questions given here are taken from Previous Board Exams. Click here for more study materials.

What is Democracy? Why Democracy? Extra Question Answers

1. Define democracy and elaborate any two common features of it. [CBSE 2014]

Ans. Democracy is a form of government that allows people to choose their leaders. Following are the features of democracy:

(i) Ruler elected by the people take all the major decisions.

(ii) Elections offer a choice and fair opportunities to the people to change the current rulers.

(iii) This choice and opportunity is available to all the people on an equal basis.

(iv) The exercise of this choice leads to a government limited by basic rules of the Constitution and citizens’ rights.

2. ‘Major decisions in a democracy must be taken by elected leaders.’ Justify the statement by giving two reasons and a suitable example. (Board 2016)

Ans. Major decisions in a democracy must be taken by elected leaders to have a democracy in true sense. We can give example of Pakistan where Army had the ultimate authority in governance.

(i) In Pakistan, after passing a law, elections are held to national and state assemblies. So now, elected representatives must have some powers, but final power vests with military officers.

(ii) Those who take final decisions are not elected by the people.

(iii) They have formally elected a parliament and government, but the real power is in the hands of those who are not elected.

3. How did General Parvez Musharraf become the President of Pakistan? [CBSE 2016]

Ans. General Pervez Musharraf became the President of Pakistan by:

(i) He led a military coup in October, 1999.

(ii) He overthrew a democratically elected government and declared himself the ‘Chief Executive’ of the country.

(iii) He changed his designation to the President, in 2002 held a referendum in the country that granted him a five years extension.

4. “Legal Framework Order of August 2002 in Pakistan was non-democratic in nature.” Justify by giving five reasons. (Board 2013)

Ans. Five Reasons are as :

(i) President can dismiss the National and Provincial Assemblies.

(ii) Work of civilian cabinet was supervised by military officers.

(iii) National Security Council was dominated by military officers.

(iv) In spite of having elected representatives, final power vests with military officers.

(v) Final decisions were taken by those not elected by people

5. Give three example to prove that political equality is still missing in many countries of the world. [CBSE 2015]

OR What does ‘one person, one vote, one value’ mean? Name the countries where citizens do not enjoy right to vote.

Ans. Democracy is based on a fundamental principle of political equality. In a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value. But there are many instances of denial of equal right to vote:

(i) In Saudi Arabia women do not have the right to vote.

(ii) Estonia has made its citizenship rules in such a way that people from Russian minority find difficult to vote.

(iii) In Fiji, the electoral system is such that vote of an indigenous Fiji has more value than that of an Indian-Fijian.

6. Why are elections in China not free and fair? Explain any three reasons. (Board 2012)

Ans. Elections in China not free and fair and reasons are given below:

(i) Elections are held after every five years for the Parliament called the National People’s Congress.

(ii) It has the power to appoint the President. It has 3000 members, but some are elected by the army.

(iii) Only members of the Communist Party are allowed to contest elections.

(iv) The government is always formed by Communist Party which makes it undemocratic.

7. ‘Popular governments can also be undemocratic.’ Justify the statement by giving a suitable example. (Board 2016)

OR. How did Robert Mugabe’s party ZANU-PF violate the features of a democratically elected government? Mention any three methods adopted by the party. [CBSE 2012]

OR. Can Zimbabwe be called a democratic country? Give any three examples to support your answer. (Board Term I, 2016)

OR. Highlight any five unfair practices used by the President of Zimbabwe to win the elections. (Board 2015)

Ans. Popular governments can also be undemocratic as was Robert Mugabe’s govt. Robert Mugabe’s party ZANU-PF violated democratic features in the following ways:

  1. ZANU-PF consistently won elections since independence, undermining fair competition.
  2. The government amended the constitution multiple times to increase the President’s powers and reduce accountability.
  3. Opposition party workers faced harassment and disruption of their meetings.
  4. Public protests and demonstrations against the government were deemed illegal.
  5. Criticizing the President was restricted by law.
  6. Government-controlled media outlets presented only the ruling party’s perspective.
  7. Independent newspapers faced harassment by the government for criticizing it.
  8. The government disregarded certain court judgments and exerted pressure on judges.

In conclusion, ZANU-PF and Robert Mugabe exemplified undemocratic practices in their rule and Zimbabwe cannot be called a democratic country during Mr Mugabe’s rule.

8. Why was every election won by the party called PRI in Mexico? Explain any three reasons. (Board 2014)

OR. Till 2000, Mexican people seem to have a choice to elect their leader but practically they had no choice”. Support this statement with three suitable reasons. [CBSE 2012]

Ans. Till 2000, Mexican people seem to have a choice as Mexico held elections every six years since 1930 to choose the President. Opposition parties contested elections and their candidates appeared as choices for voters.

But practically they had no choice because of following reasons:

  1. PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) won all elections until 2000.
  2. Opposition parties contested elections but never won due to various reasons:
  • PRI employed dirty tricks, such as mandatory attendance at PRI meetings for government office employees.
  • Teachers coerced parents to vote for PRI.
  • Media ignored opposition parties’ activities except for criticism.
  • Last-minute shifting of polling booths made it challenging for people to vote.
  • PRI spent significant campaign funds for its candidates.

9. How can the principles of democracy be applied to all spheres of life? [CBSE 2012]

Ans. The principle of democracy can be applied to all spheres of life:

(i) A democratic decision involves consultation with and consent of all those who are affected by that decision.

(ii) Those who are not powerful have the same say in taking the decision as those who are powerful. This can apply to a government or a family or any other organization.

(iii) Thus, democracy is also a principle that can be applied to any sphere of life.

10. State any five arguments against democracy. [CBSE 2014, 13, 12, 11]

Ans. Arguments against democracy.

(i) Democracy is all about political competition and power play – there is no scope for morality. Elections held are not free and fair. There are often reports of intimidation, booth capturing, rigging, violation of the model code of conduct, which should be followed by political parties and candidates.

(ii) Democratic government take more time in taking decisions as definite norms and procedures have to be followed. This results in delays and inefficiency.

(iii) Elected leaders do not know the best interest of the people. It leads to bad decisions. Leaders keep changing in a democracy. This leads to instability.

(iv) Democracy leads to corruption, red tapism and over bureaucratization.

(v) Ordinary people don’t know what is good for them, they should not decide anything.

11. Differentiate between a democratic government and a non-democratic government. (Board 2013)

Answer: We can judge a country on a few criteria as given below.

CriteriaDemocratic GovernmentNon-democratic Government
(i) ElectionsRegular elections for people to change governmentIrregular elections; people have no right to change government
(ii) Freedom of SpeechCitizens enjoy freedom of speechNo freedom of speech
(iii) Opposition PartiesOpposition parties function freelyOpposition parties not allowed to function; rule of one man or one party

12. What do you understand by the “broader meaning of democracy”? Explain in three points. (Board 2016)

Ans. The broader meaning of democracy signifies that:

(i) Democracy is a principle that can be applied to any sphere of life.

(ii) The most common form of democracy in today’s world is rule through people’s elected representatives.

(iii) Every democracy has to try to realise the ideals of a democratic decision making. This cannot be achieved once and for all. It requires a constant effort to save and strengthen democratic forms of decision making.

(iv) Democracy depends on active political participation by all the citizens. That is why a study of democracy must focus on democratic politics

13. How does democracy provide a method to deal with differences and conflicts? (Board Term I, 2015) OR ‘Democracy keeps a diverse country like India together.’ How? (Board Term I, 2014)

Ans. A method provided by the democracy is :

(i) No one is a permanent winner or loser in a democracy as the government keeps on changing every 5 years.

(ii) Different groups can live together peacefully as India is democratic and has diversity.

(iii) Democracy keeps us together — all equal in eyes of laws. There is no discrimination in democracy

14. ‘‘Democracy is better than any other form of government, because it allows to correct its own mistakes.’’ Justify the statement with the help of three examples. (Board Term I, 2012)

Ans. Examples to justify the statement given:

(i) In a democracy, mistakes cannot be hidden for long.

(ii) There is space for public discussion.

(iii) There is room for correction.

(iv) Either ruler has to change their decisions or the rulers can be changed

15. Democracy leads to better decisions in comparison to non-democratic form of government. Give three reasons. (Term I, 2014)

OR ‘Democracy improves the quality of decision making.’ Explain. (Term I, 2012)

Ans. The three reasons are:

(i) A democratic decision involves many persons, discussion, debates, etc.

(ii) A number of people together can point out the possible mistakes in any decision.

(iii) This takes time, but reduces the chances of a rash/ irresponsible decision

16. What distinguishes democracy from other forms of government? Explain by giving three points. (Term I, 2015)

Ans. Democracy is different from other forms of government because here:

(i) Citizens must take part in politics.

(ii) Democracy depends on active political participation by all citizens.

(iii) The fate of the country depends on not just who rules, but also on what we as responsible citizens

17. With the help of an example, prove that a democratic government is a more accountable form of government. (Term I, 2014, 2013)

Ans. We can take the example of India. In India, the government is accountable to the citizens.

(i) The Government policies in India are based on the democratic values.

(ii) It is able to respond to the needs of the people.

(iii) It holds multiparty elections.

(iv) It has opposition parties to criticize the government.

(v) Democracy ensures that decision making will be based on norms and procedures.

(vi) A democratic government rules within limits set by constitutional law and citizen’s right.

(vii) Democracy provides a method to deal with difference and conflicts.

(viii) It is better than other forms of government because it allows us to correct our own mistakes.

(ix) Democracy also increases the dignity of the citizens, because it is based on the principle of political equality.

18. Write any three arguments in favour and two against democracy as a form of government. (Term I, 2014)

OR Why do we prefer democracy than any other form of government? (2013)

Ans. Arguments in favour of democracy:

(i) Democratic form of government is more accountable.

(ii) It improves the quality of decision making.

(iii) It provides a method to deal with differences and conflicts.

(iv) It enhances the dignity of citizens.

(v) It allows us to correct our mistakes.

Arguments against democracy:

(i) Change of leaders leads to instability.

(ii) It involves only political competition with no scope for morality.

(iii) Consulting more people leads to delays.

(iv) It leads to corruption.

(v) Ordinary people don’t know that what is good for them.

19. What is the most common form of democracy in the modern world? Explain any two reasons for it. (Term I, 2012)

Ans. Representative democracy is the most common form of democracy in the modern world. Reasons:

(i) It is physically impossible for all the people to sit together and take a collective decision.

(ii) Each and every citizen may not have the time, the desire or the skills to take part in all the decisions.

20. Rulers and the ruled both are responsible for making an ideal democracy. Justify by giving suitable examples. (2016)

OR Can the citizens of the country turn a simple democracy into a good democracy? Give five reasons in support of your arguments. (2015)

Ans. The citizens of the country can turn a simple democracy into a good democracy by the following ways:

(i) What we do as citizens can make a difference in making our country more or less democratic.

(ii) This is the strength and weakness of democracy.

(iii) The fate of our country depends on not only what rulers do, but also on what we as citizens do.

(iv) Citizens can take part in politics.

(v) Democracy depends on active political participation of all citizens.

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