Majority Rule and Minority Rights
In a free government system, it can be said that the corner stone is the concept of majority rule and minority rights. The majority is the group of people that is composed of more than half of the entire population that participated in a certain event or in an election. On the other hand, the minority is considered as the subordinate group and is not politically dominant in a given society that is ruled by the concept of majority rules.
The president together with all the other officials that are to take the responsibility of governing the country is determined through the votes of the people and whoever has the largest vote takes the position. The election procedures and requirements regarding the election of the president and other officials are under Article 2, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. However, the power that is given to the elected president is also limited and restricted under the same Article.
As stated earlier, the representative with the most number of votes will act for the majority whom in the first place was chosen by the majority to be in the position. However, although the elected official represents the majority, the minority still retains the rights given by the government and expects the majority to acknowledge their rights as well. The minority will not remain the minority forever and in every issue and situation. The minority are free to the idea that in order to have a government competent enough, the will of the majority must be fulfilled.
It is not only the concept of majority rule that is important not only on the American government but in all democratic government as well but also the concept of minority rights. The rights of the minority must also be acknowledge and protected. To ensure that the minority retains their rights, the constitution has limited the power of the elected officials and embedded in the constitution are certain laws that will guard the rights and interest of the minority.
An example would be the I Amendment of the Bill of Rights that secures the rights of individuals within the state regarding matters of religion, press and speech. The IV Amendment also ensures all persons within the state are free from the fear of abuses from law enforcements regarding unreasonable search and as well as seizure of property. In This case not just the right of the minority is protected but the majority as well. Since the majority constitutes the larger population, their interest is respected which also involves decision making.
It is also based on the idea that the majority knows what is best for the community as a whole. It is important to guard the rights not just of the majority but of the minority as well. The Constitution ensures that the right of all individuals in the State is respected and protected. Majority rule had been limited in order to ensure that the majority will not oppress the minority therefore protecting the rights of the minority while the majority rules.
This is important because the minorities are also people of the State that also contributes to the economic aspect of the State that is important in maintaining and strengthening its power. If the minorities are oppressed there will be divisions within the State, something that is even harder to addressed, even harder than problems that the State encounters with other nations. Conflicts within the state may also result in the fall of the State as a whole, not just economically but in all aspects as well especially in maintaining its power and status.
The tension between the concept of majority rule and minority right is always present in every democratic constitution. Thus, it is important for public officials to be able to make decisions on when should the rule and interest of the majority be reduced in order to protect the rights of the minority and when should the right of the minority be restricted in order to avoid the submersion of the majority rule. These questions must be addressed properly to prevent irreparable damage that can be brought on either the majority or the minority.
It is important that while the majority has the power, the will and interest of the minority are also considered and valued in order to maintain the peace and good relations of the people within the State as well as the political and social power of the State. As stated earlier, the principle of majority rule over minority right can be clearly observed in politics especially in elections. This principle will again be seen in the 2008 presidential election wherein more than 10 candidates are involved.
Whoever gets the vote of the majority will govern the country in the place of the majority. Although the winner will be governing the country, the constitution limits the power given to the elected president in order to protect the rights and interest of the majority whom in the first place do not chose the elected. Another event in which the concept of majority rule and minority right can be seen is in the case of the Jena 6 in Jena, Louisiana. It can be said that racism is a part of the system wherein the white are considered to dominate.
In the case of the Jena 6, although white can be said to represent the majority, the rights of the minority are still respected through many the rallies that were performed. This also shows the importance why the right of the minority must be respected and protected, to avoid factions among the members of the community as well as revolt against those who are in the position that were representation of the majority and even to the majority itself. Indeed, the principle of majority rule with respect to minority right is the foundation of every democratic country such as the United States itself.
It is also a key for development and unification.
Davison, B. (02, December 2006). Majority rule with respect to minority rights.
Retrieved January 19, 2008 from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/93543/majority_rule_with_respect_to_minority. html Patrick, J. (2007).
Majority rule and minority rights. Retrieved January 19, 2008 from http://www. student-voices. org/Dictionary. aspx? myTerm=Majority+Rule+and+Minority+Rights Legal Information Institute. (No Date).
United States Constitution. Retrieved January 19, 2008 from http://www. law. cornell. edu/constitution/index. html.