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Democracy in Pakistan and the USA: Unravelling the Differences and Way Forward for Pakistan

BlogsDemocracy in Pakistan and the USA: Unravelling the Differences and Way Forward for Pakistan
By: Mohsin Fareed Shah

Pakistan, the sixth most populous nation in the world, was founded in 1947 on the basis of public will and with the goal of creating a liberal, moderate, and democratic parliamentary republic. Pakistan is a democratic parliamentary democracy with an elected form of government, according to its constitution. The President of Pakistan is the head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government. The President is elected by an electoral college comprising members of the Senate, National Assembly, and Provincial Assemblies. The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party or coalition in the National Assembly and is appointed by the President.

The United States of America operates as a federal democratic republic. The head of state and the head of government in the United States is the President. Instead of being elected directly by the people, the president is chosen by the Electoral College. The US President has a set four-year term and is only eligible for re-election a maximum of twice. The United States is composed of 50 states, each with its own government, and a federal government that oversees matters that affect the entire nation. An important component of the American political system is the distribution of powers between the federal and state governments. Elections are a crucial part of the political process in the United States. Members of Congress (Senators and Representatives) are chosen by the voters of their individual states and districts, while the President and Vice President are chosen by the electoral college. Depending on the state’s political system, there are different elected roles at the local and state levels.

Like-wise the US constitution, Pakistan should include the Bill of Rights, which consists of the first ten amendments. These amendments will ensure that Pakistanis have access to fundamental liberties and rights like freedom of expression, religion, and due process. In Pakistan, the political parties focus more on their conflicts than the growth and advancement of the country or the nation. They should shape the political landscape and often compete in national and state elections.

Periodically, Pakistan has elections in which people choose their representatives for the federal and provincial governments. Due to the multi-party system, political parties have a great influence on the electoral process, and coalition governments are frequent. On the other hand, In the US, elections for the presidency take place every four years, while those for the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate take place every two years. The Democratic and Republican parties dominate the US’s two-party system, and the Electoral College is used to pick the president. Systems of checks and balances exist in both Pakistan and the USA to guarantee the division of powers among the several parts of government and prevent any one branch from gaining excessive authority. This framework guards against potential power abuses and upholds democratic norms. Systems of checks and balances exist in both Pakistan and the USA to guarantee the division of powers among the several parts of government and prevent any one branch from gaining excessive authority. This framework guards against potential power abuses and upholds democratic norms.

In Pakistan, we should ensure the independence and effectiveness of democratic institutions like the judiciary, election commission, and parliament. These institutions play a vital role in upholding democratic values, ensuring accountability, and safeguarding citizens’ rights. Implementation of electoral reforms is required to enhance the transparency, fairness, and credibility of the electoral process in Pakistan. This may include improving voter registration, introducing electronic voting machines, and encouraging political party funding transparency. Civic education and political awareness should be promoted among the public.

Protecting and promoting media freedom is required, allowing journalists to operate without fear of censorship or persecution. A free and vibrant media is essential for holding the government and public officials accountable. Strengthening the rule of law and ensuring equal access to justice for all citizens is also required. It is crucial to encourage civil society organizations to take an active role in the democratic process, keep an eye on government operations, and fight for citizens’ rights and welfare. The involvement of young people is also necessary in the democratic process by providing platforms for their participation in politics, policymaking, and governance. Building a strong and long-lasting democratic system in Pakistan involves the combined efforts of all stakeholders as improving democracy is a slow and ongoing process.

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