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Hi, everybody, welcome to year nine citizenship.

My name is Miss Elmi, and I'll be your teacher over the next few lessons teaching you all about democracy.

Now democracy serves a vital part of our government.

My name is Miss Elmi, and I'll be your teacher for the next few lessons teaching you all about democracy.

Now, democracy serves a vital part of our government system.

It's also an important fundamental British value, so it's really important that we understand and delve deep into what democracy is, why it's important, and how it can be improved.

So over the next few weeks, that's what we'll be doing.

For this lesson, what our focus would be is to just introduce you into the concept, to understand the concept of democracy, and essentially, by the end of the session, we want you to be able to explain the aim of democracy and some of its key features, and what makes a system or a governing system a strong democratic system.

Before we get started, just make sure that you have everything you need for this lesson.

You have a note card, you have a pen, and you are in a quiet space where you can fully concentrate and focus.

Do you have everything with you? Brilliant.

Okay, so let's get started.

What is democracy? In order to answer this question, you need to really know what, how to define democracy.

And democracy essentially comes from the Greek word demokratia.

That can be broken down into two parts, demos, meaning the common people, and kratos, meaning power or rule.

And combined, they mean "rule by the people", which essentially means that people have control and power in the decisions that take place, that effect their life.

Now democracy first started in its early stages in Ancient Greece as a form of direct democracy.

There, people were able to come together to discuss their concerns and opinions and direct them to the rulers and eventually directly vote in the laws or laws that will govern them.

So this was a form of direct democracy, where power of decision-making and the power or deciding those roles lay in the hands of the people.

So democracy as a system of government in which power is vested in the people.

It can be exercised by them either directly or indirectly through freely elected representatives.

So whilst in Ancient Athens, in Ancient Greece, there was direct elements of democracy, in modern day, we have elements of both, but most genuinely in Western democracies, we have representative democracies where we elect individuals or representatives to make decisions on our behalf.

Now whilst Ancient Greece was considered the birthplace of democracy, it was also considered a flawed democracy.

So if you look at this image, what you can see is a lot of the people surrounding the ruler, expressing their views, making decisions, all of them men.

And there were a particular type of men that were able to do so.

Women were excluded from this process of voting on laws, but they weren't the only ones that were excluded.

Slaves were also excluded and anyone that didn't own land.

So whilst this was considered the birth place of democracy, it was also considered a flawed democracy, because it wasn't inclusive.

It didn't include everybody in that decision-making process.

And so power was only in the hands of a few individuals.

Now as the Ancient Greek power started to fade away, some of those ideas of democracy also started to fade away.

Now I'm not going to go through the whole history of democracy, but I do want to just allude to some key poignant moments.

The first being in the 12th century, where the first aspect of democracy and equality was established through the Magna Carta.

And so the Magna Carta was a good , which tried to limit the power of those inequality.

And then another key moment was in the time of the Enlightenment era.

Now I'm not going to go through each of the key thinkers that talked about and laid the foundation of some of the political thought around democracy.

What I do want to direct you to the history lesson in year eight, lesson one called the Enlightenment to just get a foundation and understanding of what that, what those key arguments were.

But fundamentally, they all had a key perspective that during that time, there was a lot of inequality, a lot of abuse of power.

And because of that, many people became very resentful, and there were a few key thinkers saying that that isn't fair, everybody is born a human being, and therefore, they should be treated all equally.

And so that train of thought continued during the age of revolution, along with the idea that power and those in power, their power should not be absolute, it should be limited.

And so that led to civil unrest.

That led to revolution.

So we had the French Revolution, and we also had the American Revolution, which was established really to ensure and establish democracy, ensure the key aspects of democracy, which was giving freedom to all human beings, making sure that they have rights, and also that there was some limitation in those who in positions of power that there was some limitation on their power.

And when that essentially is established, then what you will have is fruits of democracy essentially.

And the aim essentially of democracy is to produce those fruits, which is respecting human dignity, making sure that people are treated like humans, and the way they are treated like humans is that their rights are established, that basic freedoms are not limited, that there's equality and justice, and that there's good governance, which doesn't abuse their powers.

And as a result of those fruits, what you'll find is there will be an established peace.

So just to summarise what history, what we've learned from history is that what is vital to having democracy is ensuring that there is a limitation on people's powers, or governance powers, and that the rights and liberties and freedoms of citizens are established in order to ensure peace and respect for human dignity.

So let's look at it in a modern day context.

I have a map in front of me, and this map shows a map of the world, and I just want you to have a look at it, and I just want you to think about what is it that you're seeing, what's it make you think, and also what questions or what do you wonder about? What questions come to mind that you, that makes you ponder, makes you wonder about what you're seeing? Okay, now I'm just going to go through what I see and what I think and what I wonder, okay? And I'm going to explain some of it that what this map is showing.

So this is a map, which is called the Democracy Index of 2019.

And I can see from this map that you have the map of the world, which is shaded in different colours, which makes me go straight towards the key to understand what those colours stand for.

And what we have here is a spectrum.

At the top is what is identified as a full democracy.

At the bottom is what is identified as an authoritarian regime.

Now if a nation is a full democracy, then you will see, and a very strong democracy, we will see that they are shaded in green.

I can see that Australia, Canada, and parts of Scandinavia and Europe are all shaded in dark green, which suggests that they have a strong democracy.

If it's shaded in a light green, then it's considered to be a flawed democracy, as we can see in parts of South America.

Even America is considered to be a somewhat flawed democracy.

The parts in the middle that are yellow and light orange, you can see that essentially they are a hybrid.

They're a mixture of a democracy.

They have some democratic features, but they may also have some authoritarian aspects.

And so when I see this, I wonder, and I think about what does authoritarian actually mean? Now we've just talked about power.

In an authoritarian government, unlike a democracy, we'll see that power is being concentrated in the hands of the government, that they centralise their power and control, very similar to the past where power how was in the hands of leaders and the hands of kings and queens.

In an authoritarian regime, you have government, which have a strong central power, and those powers aren't very much limited, whereas in a full democracy is the absolute opposite.

But as we can see from this index is that you have some democracies that are, some countries that are democracies but considered to be flawed.

So it also makes me wonder, well, what makes a strong democracy? So to compare, let's illustrate firstly between authoritarian and strong democracies.

For example, North Korea.

North Korea is ranked at the bottom of that index, and they are considered to be an authoritarian regime.

That is because they centralise control, so they have a lot of control over all their institutions.

They don't always protect human rights, so citizens' rights aren't always fully established, so, you know, they might have consequences if they spoke against the government.

And they control all forms of, all levels of security.

So for example, if there is a media, which is supposed to question and scrutinise and look at what they do, they would have control over that.

And as a result, the information that goes out to the public, they would also have control over, which means that actually there isn't freedom for freedom of the press or freedom for people to express their views.

And they also control any opposition to them, because if there's an opposition, that means their power could be limited.

So if that is an authoritarian regime, what are the key features of a democracy? There are six key features of democracy, so I'm just going to give you a few minutes, just to note down these six key features.

And as I talk through some of these key features, you're going to have an opportunity to just briefly summarise those features.

Okay, so the first key feature is free and fair elections.

Now it's important to, in a strong democracy, that there is an established free and fair elections.

Why? Because it reflects the free expression of people, so it effects what people's, what people want and their views, and to have a strong democracy that respects and upholds free and fair elections, there needs to be elections that happen regularly.

Why? Because people's views change.

Okay, so what we think today isn't the same as what the public and societies want maybe 50 years ago.

Secondly, they should be secret ballots.

Why? Because you don't want people to feel pressured to vote in a certain way.

So by allowing them to vote in secret, they can do so free.

Now unlike Ancient Greece, there should be universal suffrage, which means there should be nobody excluded.

Everybody should be able to take part in an election, and there should be no limitations to that in regards to their gender, their race, et cetera.

So universal suffrage means that every adult should be able and feel able to vote, and there should be majority rule, so the outcomes should produce a result.

So the one with the most votes should win.

Someone who doesn't get the most votes or gets a small amount of votes shouldn't gain the power, because they are not reflecting the power, the will of the people.

You should have a multi-party system, meaning that there should be more than one party to vote for.

Why? Because it gives people choice.

So in a strong democracy, having that choice means that there are wider range of ideas, of views that are being represented.

It also does something else.

It also allows for scrutiny, meaning if there is an opposing viewpoint or opposing party, it gives them an opportunity to scrutinise and examine the governance.

It gives them an opportunity to make sure that they don't abuse their power, so that limits power.

And the third, it should protect fundamental human rights.

So one of the key issues on the part is that people's rights weren't protected, that dignity for human beings was not established, and so vital to our democracy is ensuring people's rights are upheld, their freedom of speech and individual minority rights are upheld.

So unlike North Korea, where sometimes freedom of speech is limited, the right to criticise and depose the government is limited and or if not completely abused, it means that they do not adhere to protecting human rights.

They actually abuse human rights.

So those are the first three key features.

I just want you now to explain and summarise at least each of those key features in your notes.

So just to model that for you, the way we can summarise it is just explain why it's important in a democracy.

So as you can see, we have a question.

Why are free and fair elections a vital part of our democracy? A good summary would just outline that free and fair elections are a vital part of democracy, because it instils public trust and confidence.

And if people believe that the process is fair, that everybody is taking part in it, it means that they are able to trust and have competence in that process.

It also encourages continuous engagement, meaning that if people don't trust the process, it means that they probably won't want to take part.

And so it encourages continuous engagement.

And also finally, it is vital to democracy, because people's views and votes essentially do not go to waste, and power is therefore dispersed amongst the people.

So just pause the video and have a go.

Use the sentence starters to support and have a go at just summarising why each of these features are important.

And then come back to the video, and I will go through the next three key features.

Okay, and welcome back.

So we've just gone through the first three key features, which makes a strong democracy.

Now I want to go through the next three key features.

Okay, and that consists of three key things, active participation with citizens, the rule of law, and separation of powers.

So what do we mean by active participation systems? Well, essentially what it means is that every citizen should be allowed to participate in society.

And that might be specifically within their community, whether it's volunteering, joining an organisation, joining a political party, they should be allowed to do so.

Secondly, it could be through voting, so they can express their electoral participation.

So they should be free as we mentioned to vote.

And, but they also have the choice what to vote.

But what makes a strong democracy is having everybody take part.

Why? Because essentially you are allowed, if only a few people had the right, if only a few people took part in voting, it means that actually they may have more power than everybody else.

So a good example is to the school elections, for instance.

When you're electing your head pupil, you, your whole, the whole school will take part in those elections generally, and you might find that actually, when that happens, those that win that election with all responsibility and accountability to everybody in the school, and so I would want to ensure that they do a good job for everybody.

However, if only one year group voted and elected their head pupil, is the head pupil likely to focus on the issues that concern that one year group or the whole school? In that scenario, what you find is that actually they may well focus on only that year group that took part in that vote, and that can be damaging to democracy, because essentially, it means those are in the minority will hold more influence, will hold more power, and therefore hold more influence.

The next key feature is that, is in regards to the rule of law.

So when we talk about rule of law, and as we mentioned, it is to ensure that nobody is above the law.

So the law should apply to everybody, and in doing so, it should be clear.

So in a democracy, the laws should be clear by everybody to understand, and that nobody, even those in positions of power, whether it's the prime minister to , is above the law, they are subject to the law.

And that the law should not discriminate.

It should apply evenly to everybody.

And all the citizens should be protected by the law, so it prevents abuse of power.

So the reason why the rule of law is vital in a democracy is that it prevents the abuse of power.

And then the final one is separation of powers.

And this in regards to our three government institutions, the three branches of government.

The legislature that make the law, the executive that carry out those laws or execute those laws, and the judiciary that calls, that decide whether a law is broken.

And the reason why it is argued that a strong democracy has separation of powers, or elements of separation, is that actually it gives an opportunity for each of those branches to examine very closely, scrutinise, and the other branches, and hold them accountable, hold them responsible for the things that they say and they do.

Why is that important? Well it's important because it makes sure that if someone is examining you and scrutinising everything they do and questioning what you're doing, it means that you are not likely, or shouldn't be likely, to abuse your position, abuse that power, or that responsibility that has been given.

And so it provides a check and balance system where each branch is able to scrutinise and check the work of other branches, and therefore, the power is balanced.

Nobody goes beyond their powers, and nobody uses that power.

So those are the key features.

I'm just going to give you now a few minutes just to pause the video and summarise those final key features, okay? So summarise active participation, why that is important in a democracy, summarise the rule of law, and separation of powers.

Okay, and welcome back.


So so far, we've gone through the key elements of democracy, which is to ensure human dignity, equality, fairness, freedom, and justice, and ensure good governance and peace.

We've gone through the key features, the key six features, which makes a democracy a strong and full democracy.

And so now what I want you to do is just think about this quote.

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others," said Winston Churchill.

What can be inferred from this quote? Have a moment just to think about that.


So when I see this quote, the first thing I see is that, it's the first thing, democracy's the worst form of government.

And I think why did Winston Churchill say it's the worst form of government? Well some people argue and believe that democracy and giving power to people to make decisions and how they should, how the society should be governed is a little bit reckless.

And the reason why they think that is that essentially, those choices should be left to experts, experts who understand the best way to guide a society and govern a society.

Those decisions should be in their hands.

And then I'll look at the second part of that quote, where it says except for all others.

So democracy is the worst form of government except for all others, meaning that in Churchill's view, democracy is not that great, 'cause sometimes it could be, people are making decisions where they don't have the full knowledge or are informed enough to make those decisions.

Actually, compared to all other systems like authoritarian systems and regimes, it's the better, it is much better than the alternative.

So what Churchill was arguing is that democracy is not perfect.

It's not a perfect system, which is why when you look back at our democracy index, you'll find that there are some countries that have a full democracy, but there are some that have flawed democracies that you think would have a better form of establishing those key principles.

So democracy isn't perfect.

And as we continue on our lesson, we're going to explore some of the strengths and weaknesses of our democracy.

And we're going to look in a little bit more detail as to why some people would argue that our democracy is not flawed and some of the arguments around that.

So we've come to the end of the lesson.

However, there are four comprehension questions that I want you to answer.

These are the final four, okay.

So I just want you to screenshot this or write it down, the questions, and then go ahead and try and answer it.

Pause the video, come back, and we'll go through each of those answers.

Okay, and welcome back.

So the first question as you can see states, "What does democracy mean?" And a good and correct answer will cite the definition, "Democracy means 'ruled by the people.

'" But an even better answer goes on to describe essentially what that definition is and builds on that definition.

So, "Democracy is a system of government in which power is vested in the people and 'ruled by the people' either directly or indirectly through elected representatives." So have a look at your answer, and if you've made any mistakes, or you feel that you haven't fully explained or answered that question correctly, just note down the correct answer and build on your answer.

Let's go on to question two.

So, "How might a democracy be flawed if citizens' rights are not adequately protected?" Now a correct answer would say, "Democracy will be flawed if rights are not protected, because it will lead to an unfair society." So if you think back to what we were talking about, where human rights and human dignity wasn't conserved and wasn't protected, it led to a really unequal and unfair society.

But to build on that response a little bit further, so to not just identify the point but explain and expand on that point, a better answer would say, "Democracy aims to ensure freedom, justice, and equality." And as you can notice, they identified the main aims of democracy, so what are the benefits of being in a democratic system, what does it produce? It produces freedom, it produces justice and equality to name but a few.

Then it goes on to say, "Without protecting fundamental human rights and liberties, it would lead to society where some would benefit and others would not, which can inevitably lead to civil unrest, as seen in the past.

Now the reason why this is a better answer is because it gives a more detailed explanation as to why having rights is important, okay, and it makes a link to A, aims of democracy, and B, what the consequence can be if those rights doesn't exist.

Question number three, "Can a strong democracy exist if there were a lack of active citizens?" Now we talked about active participation of citizens and why it was important.

Now a correct answer would say "Yes, because citizens only need to be given the opportunity and choice to take part in the democratic process." But a better answer would give a balanced response.

So they might say, yes, it does mean a strong democracy exists, and then they may look at it from perspective, but actually it may suggest a strong democracy may not exist or it may have a flawed democracy.

So a better answer is, as we read here, it says, "To some extent, this is true." Firstly, it opened up the sentence to give that but.

"So to some extent, this is true.

If citizens are allowed to take part in the democratic process and civic life, they have the right to choose to take part or choose not to.

However, the lack of citizens engagement can weaken democracy.

This is because it can lead to some groups having more power than others." Now what is good about this response is that it gives a balance, okay? It says on the one hand, why it can lead to a lack of, a lack of citizens can lead to a strong democracy and why it might not lead to a strong democracy or weaken democracy in some way.

So this is a very good response to a question which asks you to look at maybe two sides of an argument.

And question four, "How do we know if a strong democracy exists?" Now the key hint here is not just to move to the key features of democracy, but also to allude to what it produces.

The key fruits of democracy are essentially what comes out of democracy, which is justice, equality, et cetera.

So a correct answer for this question is, "If each of the six features is present, a strong democracy would be established." That's technically correct, right? But an even better answer would delve deeper a little bit and go a little bit further and make a connection between the six key features of a democracy and also the aims, what democracy produces.

"When the six key features of democracy are adhered to without limitation, a strong democracy can exist.

As a result, one would find respect for human dignity, freedom, equality, justice, good governance and peace." Okay, so if you've gotten this far in today's lesson, well done, okay.

You have now come to the end of the lesson.

Make sure you do the exit quiz and come back next lesson to look at direct democracy and whether direct democracy is better.

Thank you and bye.