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What is the definition of a democratic reform?

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kcsk1998 | Student, Grade 10 | Salutatorian

Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:39 PM via web

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What is the definition of a democratic reform?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:05 PM (Answer #1)

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There is no exact definition of a democratic reform that is very specific.  In general, democratic reforms are changes that are made to a country’s system that allow it to become more democratic.  There are many kinds of reforms that could be seen as democratic reforms and it is not always clear if a particular reform would be democratic.

Some reforms are clearly democratic.  One major aspect of democracy is that people have the right to vote to select the people who will lead them.  Therefore, a reform that allows people to vote when they were previously not allowed to vote is a democratic reform.  In your other question, you asked about China.  Chinese people don’t actually get to vote for their leaders.  If the laws were changed to allow that, it would be a democratic reform. 

Another major aspect of democracy is political freedom.  This includes such things as the freedom of speech.  Reforms that allow for more freedom of speech would clearly be democratic reforms.  So, if China were to stop censoring the internet and blocking people from talking about certain ideas or even searching for certain key words, it would clearly be a democratic reform.

Other reforms are less clearly democratic.  For example, if France bans women from being veiled in public, it is not clearly democratic.  This might be a democratic reform because it protects the rights of women.  On the other hand, it may be anti-democratic because it infringes on religious freedom.

Thus, a democratic reform is a change that makes a country more democratic.  Sometimes, it is easy to see that a reform is or would be democratic.  Other times it is not.

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