Whar are the various methods in which democracy can be reformed ?
Democracy can be reformed in the following few ways:
(a) Legal Ways of Reforming Politics. Politics can be reformed in legal ways by introducing new laws that ban undesirable things. Carefully devised changes in law can help to discourage wrong political practices and encourage good ones. But legal-constitutional changes by themselves cannot overcome challenges to democracy. Democratic reforms can be better carried out mainly by political activists, parties, movements and politically conscious citizens.
(b) Reforms through Legislation. Legal changes can lead to reforms but the results may be counter-productive. For example, banning people who have more than two children from contesting panchayat elections results in denial of democratic opportunity to many poor and women, which is not desirable. Generally, laws that seek to ban something are not always successful in politics. Instead, laws that give political actors incentives to do good things have more chances of working. Thus, the best laws are those which empower people to carry out democratic reforms. The Right to Information Act is a good example of a law that empowers the people to find out what is happening in government and act as watchdogs of democracy. Such a law helps to control corruption and supplements the existing laws that banned corruption and imposed strict penalties.
(c) Reforms through Political Parties. Democratic reforms can be brought about principally through political practice. Therefore, the main focus of political reforms should be on ways to strengthen democratic practice. The most important concern here should be to increase and improve the quality of political participation by ordinary citizens.
(d) Reforms through Citizens and Media. Any proposal for political reforms should think not only about what is a good solution but also about who will implement it and how. It may not be wise to pass legislations that go against the interest of all the political parties and MPs. Instead, measures that rely on democratic movements, citizens’ organizations and the media are likely to succeed.