“The Polyarchy, participation and opposition”
In 1971 Robert A. Dahl published his 1st edition of “The Polyarchy, participation and opposition” where he defines a set of rules that a Government System must comply with to constitute a Polyarchy. In this way, it defines a minimum quality level to be achieved by the conjunction of the idiosyncrasy of each society with its system of government.
In a polyarchy citizens must be able to:
- Formulate your preferences.
- Express those preferences to others and to government through individual or collective action.
- Achieve that their own preferences are considered equally, without discrimination as to their content or origin.
In a polyarchy, the State must guarantee:
- Freedom of association and organization
- Freedom of thought and expression
- The right to active and passive suffrage
- The right to compete for electoral support
- Alternative sources of accessible information
- Free and fair periodic elections, which produce limited mandates
- Existence of institutions that control and make government policies depend on voting and other expressions of preferences.
In practice the Polyarchy is structured through 4 mechanisms:
- Rule of law
- Powers Division
- Alternation in Power
- Selection Method (of Authorities / Representatives / Policies / Laws)
3 types of Polyarchies can be differentiated according to their Selection Method:
- Democratic Polyarchy: its selection method is the application of the “Rule of the Majority”.
- Optocratic Polyarchy: its selection method is the citizen’s choice between 2 or 3 alternatives that are independent of each other and coexist within the country.
- Probabilistic Polyarchy: The elections are held. The scrutiny is carried out and the proportion of votes that each candidate receives is determined. A probability of occurrence is assigned to each candidate equal to the proportion of the votes obtained. With these parameters, a draw is held among the candidates. The winner of the draw is designated as the candidate for the position.