What are the limits of debate and speech? How can minority groups be guaranteed political and social representation within a democratic framework? “In 67 Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield was the Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party and Maurice Moore and Warren Levarity were young men who shocked the world and made Bahamian history. Although we use this strategy in … This fundamental principle of constitutional democracy, majority rule coupled with the protection of minority rights, is embedded in the constitutions of all … Majority indigenous groups in several other Latin American countries have long been treated as “the minority” for most of their countries' constitutional histories (see Country Studies of. The answer to systematic inequality was continuing to demand legal equality and justice in legislatures and courts as established in the 14th Amendment — despite the Supreme Court's legitimation of discrimination. Define majority rule. Nor did these amendments prevent the less systematic but still pervasive practice of discrimination against African Americans in the North. The American founders — Anti-Federalists and Federalists alike — considered rule by majority a troubling conundrum. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution abolishing slavery, guaranteeing equal rights and due process to “all persons,” and guaranteeing the right to vote “without regard of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” were in themselves great advances in freedom. The Nazis also subjected to mass incarceration and extermination a significant portion of the Roma community, homosexuals, and other minority groups. Thompson shared that he was disappointed in the postponing of last year’s celebration especially because it was the holiday’s 50th anniversary. To overcome this new form of majority tyranny the African American minority had to confront the reality that nearly all political avenues were closed to it even though African Americans accounted for nearly 12 percent of the population. That single event, perhaps more important than even the emancipation of slaves, or yet the election of a majority of people of colour, to the House of … In 2015, President Obama ordered US forces to intervene to save the ancient monotheist Yazidi population from slaughter and enslavement by the terrorist group Islamic State, which has seized territory in Syria and Iraq. Box: F - 40007 n. A doctrine by which a numerical majority of an organized group holds the power to make decisions binding on all in the group. their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language. Last year marked the holiday’s 50th Anniversary. These enumerate the rights that may not be violated by the government, safeguarding in theory against majority tyranny. While these treaties establish clear international moral standards and have improved conditions for minorities in many places, the examples noted above make clear that the actual practice of the international community in protecting minorities from targeted repression is inconsistent, at best. How can members in a community propose a motion or law? Other recent examples of mass killings of a national or ethnic minority by a dictatorship include the Nigerian government’s campaign against Biafra in the late 1960s (see Nigeria Country Study in Freedom of Religion); Saddam Hussein's mass killing of Kurds and Shiites in Iraq in the 1980s and ‘90s; the mass murder of Tutsi by Hutu in Rwanda; and the Sudanese government's sponsorship of mass killing, raping, and deportation of the Darfur minority (see Sudan Country Study in this section). How do majority rule and the protection of minority rights function in practice? Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Convention No. [A] state of society characterized by nominal equality of rights and privileges. Yet there are several problems with relying on majority rule as Jac Heckelman goes on to discuss. The most extreme treatment of minorities in the 20th- and 21st-centuries has been found in dictatorships. When asked why, he was told that “while free blacks had the legal right to vote, they feared the consequences of exercising it.” Tocqueville had discovered one of the most profound challenges to the functioning of a true democracy. “The majority,” he concluded, “not only makes the laws, but can break them as well.”. For one, a defining characteristic of democracy is the people's right to change the majority — and the policies of government — through elections. Majority rule is a way of organizing government where citizens freely make political decisions through voting for representatives. The majority vote (or sometimes a plurality when there are more than two choices) decides the election or the issue. Majority Rule Day Some have argued that the great significance of Majority Rule was that after years of struggle by many freedom and justice loving people, the back of the old oligarchy was finally broken. Democrats consider filibuster rule change in 2021 if they take Senate, White House ... are discussing changing Senate rules to pass legislation with a simple majority of votes. If so, as Tocqueville notes above, the majority would too easily tyrannize the minority just as a single ruler is inclined to do. Over two millennia, Jews, both in their homeland and in diaspora, have been frequently discriminated against and had little protection from persecution and pogroms. More importantly, Majority Rule presented the opportunity for real democracy to come to the Bahamas, underpinned by * It treats everyone equally without discrimination. Edden, who also spoke to this daily, noted that it was important to honor Majority Rule and inform Bahamians of its significance. “Persons just think that it was just one day and one event, but it was over a decade that this event was happening; so we really wanted to demonstrate to the youth and to the general public what Majority Rule was,” she said. Typically, when we talk about “government by the people,” we mean government by majority rule. Usually they are addressed through nonviolent means such as elections, protests, legislation, the courts, protection of native lands, education, and other efforts granting regional autonomy or specific rights and privileges. Why don’t you check the whole post below for more information about Majority Rule Day? Majority rule is a means for organizing government and deciding public issues; it is not another road to oppression. The “Reid Rule” of 2013, allowing a simple majority vote to change the rules of the Senate, forever altered the institution. In the United States, individual liberties, as well as the rights of groups and individual states, are protected through the Bill of Rights, which were drafted by James Madison and adopted as the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. This means that small gains to the majority outweigh large losses to the minority.… Majority rule is a decision-making system. Since someone is bound to disagree on any issue, consensus cannot be the basis for making political or legislative decisions. The principle of majority rule often determines which decisions are taken: the will of the majority prevails over that of the minority. He explained that the former government made Majority Rule a holiday in 2014, and since then Thompson and a group of other individuals have worked diligently to establish celebrations for the event. The case against majority-rule While assimilation of a minority into the broader society offers a minority greater opportunities and political influence, it does so often at the expense of minority cultures, beliefs, and practices. Minority rights in general often pose a difficult political choice within a democracy: assimilation versus separation. Madisonian and Millian principles safeguard individual and political minorities. He added that the vote would not have been 18/18 if those two men from Grand Bahama were not elected. Mill's views became the basis for much of liberal political philosophy, whether it is economic liberalism or social liberalism. Majority Rule Day was officially observed on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. The bodies, which often use majority rule, include the legislatures where majority rule can reject or accept the proposal. In part, this is achieved through consensus respect for individual rights: in between elections and during political campaigns, minority views are given fair play in legislatures, the media, and in the public square. More recently, starting in 1999, the Russian Federation has waged a brutal war against its own republic of Chechnya, killing tens of thousands of civilians and displacing more than half the population. Some now face extinction (see also the section on Human Rights). This concept has several functions, most important of which is that it establishes a clear mechanism for making decisions: a majority of 50 percent plus one decides a question or issue. Majority Rule the Basic Republican Principle (July 5, 13, 14) MR. MADISON ... conceived that the Conventian was reduced to the alternative of either departing from justice in order to conciliate the smaller States, and the minority of the people of the United States or of displeasing these by justly gratifying the larger States and the majority of the people. For the majority, ensuring the minority's rights is a matter of future self-interest, since it will have to utilize the same rights when it finds itself in the minority seeking again to become a majority. . This rule establishes governance by the majority of those present and participating in a particular event. On January 10, 1967, in Assembly Elections the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) led by Sir Lynden O. Pindling and the ruling United Bahamian Party (UBP) led by Sir Roland Symonette both won 18 seats. “I told principals, in deep conscience, I could not ask a principal or teacher to participate in something that was partisan. The success of this strategy in fulfilling more the stated ideals of American democracy was found in the federal executive orders banning discrimination in defense industries and the armed forces in the 1940s; in the series of victories of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in the Supreme Court that broke down the legal protection of segregation (especially in Brown v. Board of Education that fully overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine); and even more significantly in the rise of the modern Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s, which adopted civil disobedience and mass action to gain adoption and enforcement of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts and other effective civil rights legislation and practices during the next two decades. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, ). Tocqueville, however, observed that no free blacks had come to vote in a local election he was observing. The minority, therefore, must have the right to seek to become the majority and possess all the rights necessary to compete fairly in elections — speech, assembly, association, petition — since otherwise there would be perpetual rule and the majority would become a dictatorship. During his travels of 1831-33, he visited the state of Pennsylvania, which had passed the first abolition law among the United States (Vermont abolished slavery in its constitution in 1777 before it joined the union). Majority rule was necessary for expressing the popular will and the basis for establishing the republic. In the end, a Civil War had to be fought before emancipation was achieved. Along with the emancipation from slavery in 1836, and gaining Independence from Great Britain in 1973, the achievement of Majority Rule is considered one of the most important events in … Majority Rule Day marks The Bahamas gaining majority rule for the first time on January 10, 1967. Principal of Walter Parker Primary School, Edna Gomez told this daily that they decided to have the assembly to share this vital part of history with the students … “So that the children know why they have that day off,” she said. Yet, majority rule cannot be the only expression of “supreme power” in a democracy. Gomez revealed that the students are learning about Majority Rule in Social Studies class, specifically sixth graders. But for those countries that follow an Anglo-Saxon tradition, Robert's Rules of Order, the standard guide for running parliamentary and other meetings and discussions (see link in Resources), offers a concise statement of the democratic ideal: American Parliamentary Law is built upon the principle that rights must be respected: the rights of the majority, of the minority, of individuals, of absentees, and rights of all of these together. Limits to Majority Rule Majority decision at the polls is an excellent way of choosing personnel for political office, but it is a violation of the moral law for the majority to vote away any man’s freedom. This holds equally true in a multiparty parliamentary democracy where no party gains a majority, since a government must still be formed in coalition by a majority of parliament members. Cecil Thompson Co-Chairman of the Majority Rule Committee spoke to this daily about the significance of commemorating the day. Article 27 asserts: [P]ersons belonging to [ethnic, religious, or linguistic] minorities shall not be denied the right in community with the other members of their group to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language. “Untouchables” or Harijans (Dalits) in India. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both warn in their letters about the dangers of the tyranny of the legislature and the executive. as democracy is conceived today, the minority's rights must be protected no matter how singular or alienated that minority is from the majority society; otherwise, the majority's rights lose their meaning. The worst examples are those of totalitarian regimes that carried out genocide to eradicate unwanted groups in society. The history of slavery and institutional prejudice against minorities in America has a continuing legacy. Majority-rule treats everyone equally. Let me show you other interesting facts about majority rule below: The school held a special assembly yesterday to commemorate Majority Rule Day. Majority indigenous groups in several other Latin American countries have long been treated as “the minority” for most of their countries' constitutional histories (see Country Studies of Bolivia and Guatemala). The American founders — Anti-Federalists and Federalists alike — considered rule by majority a troubling conundrum. In every genuine democracy today, majority rule is both endorsed and limited by the supreme law of the constitution, which protects the rights of individuals. Definition of majority rule : a political principle providing that a majority usually constituted by fifty percent plus one of an organized group will have the power to make decisions binding upon the whole Examples of majority rule in a Sentence Grand Bahama, Bahamas The members pass a resolution on various subjects either by a simple majority or by a 3/4 majority (special majority). Democracy therefore requires minority rights equally as it does majority rule. On a practical level, the application of majority rule and minority rights relies on a set of rules agreed to by everyone in a political community. The principle of rule by the majority has been made applicable to the management of the affairs of Companies. Thus, while it is clear that democracy must guarantee the expression of the popular will through majority rule, it is equally clear that it must guarantee that the majority will not abuse its power to violate the basic and inalienable rights of the minority. The notion of majority rule with respect for minority rights guarantees that no political power will ever be more dominant than the other.6 It also makes certain that while the majority may have the obvious power the will of the minority will also be considered. Clearly, the two can easily collide when the assertion of Madisonian rights and Millian liberalism confront an immovable democratic majority. The US Constitution, adopted in 1789, flatly contradicted the principles of the Declaration of Independence that asserted “all men are created equal.” Although slavery was never specifically mentioned, many of the Constitution’s provisions effectively sanctioned the practice of ownership of persons as property and the terrible oppression of millions of Africans brought to America in chains for forced labor. He said that Dr. Joneth Edden was the Founding Executive Director of the Majority Rule Celebrations in Grand Bahama. Sir Lynden became the first black Premier of The Bahamas, becoming Prime Minister in 1969. Examples of persecution of minorities are unfortunately many. Majority Rule, Minority Rights Democracy argues that the majority of people will be right more often then they will be wrong, also that majority will also be right more often than will anyone or small group. Accord­ing to the theory of majority rule, the governmental machinery is always "up for grabs" for just such a purpose. In 1905, W. E. B. In his essay On Liberty he wrote, “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will is to prevent harm to others.” Mill's “no harm principle” aims to prevent government from becoming a vehicle for the “tyranny of the majority,” which he viewed as not just a political but also a social tyranny that stifled minority voices and imposed regimentation of thought and values. A. popular sovereignty B. pluralism C. the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights D. laissez-faire capitalism E. "one person, one vote" C. the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. What is the most important check on majority rule in the U.S? Moore is the last living Member of Parliament from that first Majority Rule Government,” he said. Students of Walter Parker Primary School celebrated the 51st Anniversary of Majority Rule on Thursday (January 11) at their school’s campus, with a special assembly. And, by definition, minority rule is antithetical to democracy. Indeed, as democracy is understood today, the minority's rights must be protected no matter how alienated a minority is from the majority society; otherwise, the majority's rights lose their meaning. Another strategy was needed. Majority rule was necessary for expressing the popular will and the basis for establishing the republic. This right is the people's supreme authority. (If that day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday would be observed as a holiday.). View all posts by: FN Reporter Abria Cooper, W Cedar St, Freeport, The Bahamas “Majority rule” is an integral principle of company law: ‘those who take interests in companies limited by shares have to accept majority rule’ (per Lord Wilberforce, Re … It is not an easy balance (see, for example, Netherlands Country Study in this section). However, he promised that next year will be bigger and better than ever. How are majorities determined? (If that day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday would be observed as a holiday.) Throughout history, rulers have targeted minority religious and ethnic groups (oftentimes they are the same) for harsh repression, whether to protect the privileges of the majority (such as the persecution of Protestants in France) or simply out of discriminatory beliefs. The principle of majority rule has several functions. Thompson revealed that he wrote to the then District Superintendent of Education, principals, churches, and uniformed youth organizations, including the Church of God of Prophecy, Legend Marching Band, Pathfinders, Bahamas Brass Band and many others. In some cases minorities have taken up arms to achieve their goals, but this strategy is usually less successful. The representatives with the most votes then represent the will of the people through majority rule. Important for democracy These various kinds of majority are very important in a democracy. There was one Labor MP, Sir Randol Fawkes, who decided to side with the PLP, enabling majority rule for the first time in Bahamian history. (PHOTOS: JENNEVA RUSSELL). Its application is spotted in most referendums and elections. There is no one answer to these (and many other) questions and they have been answered differently in many democracies. The 20th century’s history of targeted repression and killing of ethnic and national groups has made the protection of minorities from abuse by majorities one of the highest obligations of international law. Simply put, it means that the majority will make decisions, but the minority’s rights are protected (the majority’s beliefs cannot be used to abuse the minority). This is wrong, since it fails to accord to the majority the equal respect they deserve as citizens in a political community. There is abundant evidence that full equality remains elusive. Its stated purposes were to take the fullest advantage of the freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights in order to challenge American institutions to live up to the country’s democratic principles. Majority rule is a decision rule that selects alternatives which have a majority, that is, more than half the votes. --- One problem is that a simple majority of people make the decision. ATTENTIVE – Walter Parker Primary students were attentive Thursday morning as they heard from guest speaker, former Ambassador Maurice Moore on the importance of Majority Rule. Blacks benefitted in many other important ways including education and social development. Against all odds they were elected,” he said. In the South the right to vote was effectively taken away and in the North it was mainly (although not always) ineffectual. That is why this attitude toward government is so important. Majority rule is often considered to be a pillar of democratic decision-making. For one, it establishes a clear mechanism for making decisions. Just as no self-appointed group has the right to oppress others, so no majority, even in a democracy, should take away the basic rights and freedoms of a minority group or individual. . “If it be admitted that a man possessing absolute power may misuse that power by wronging his adversaries, why should not a majority be liable to the same reproach? For my own part, I cannot believe it; the power to do everything which I should refuse to one of my equals, I will never grant to any number of them.”, Alexis de Tocqueville, “Tyranny of the Majority,” Chapter XV, Book 1, Democracy in America. In Europe, minority Muslim communities from former colonies in northern Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia have struggled against pervasive discrimination and the denial of equal opportunities in education, jobs, and housing (see, for example, Country Study of France). On the other hand, preserving cultures, beliefs, and practices by insulating the minority reduces its influence within the majority political culture. Piles of Bones Illustrating the Hutu Genocide. Du Bois and other African American leaders formed the Niagara Movement and later, in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Discrimination also happens even within the same group. Other black leaders, like A. Philip Randolph, struggled stubbornly over decades for worker rights and equal employment through trade union organizing and mobilizing citizens for mass action. Following the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979 there was a transition to internationally recognized majority rule in 1980; the United Kingdom ceremonially granted Zimbabwe independence on 18 April that year. Addressing hundreds of students assembled in the St. George’s Gymnasium, the Minister informed that “Majority Rule, which was realised 45 years ago, on January 10, 1967, is an important milestone in Bahamian history which many Bahamians take for granted, simply … In the strategy of these leaders, the rational answer to systematic denial of freedom was the persistent exercise of freedom in order to convince the majority to act according to the principles established in the country's own founding. Slobodan Milosevic’s project to create an “ethnically pure” Greater Serbia in the 1990s resulted in the murder of 200,000 Bosnian Muslims and 10,000 Albanian Muslims in Kosovo by a killing machine that was stopped only by NATO military campaigns — one of the few effective international interventions to protect minorities from targeted slaughter. Minority rights are rights that are guaranteed to everyone, even if they are not a part of the majority. Thompson stated that Moore’s involvement made it okay for churches, schools and others to celebrate Majority Rule in Grand Bahama. All Bahamians believe that Majority Rule Day will signify a level playing field, equality and fair play. Democracy is defined in Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary as: Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them either directly or through their elected agents . Once passed by majority members as per requirements, it becomes binding on all the members of the Company. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted after World War II in 1948, is the most widely recognized international treaty governing the practice of nation-states. A majority of 50 percent plus one decides an issue or question. 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (adopted by the International Labour Organization in 1989) further define protections for ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities to preserve their culture, languages, and beliefs and to protect themselves from discrimination. NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Senator Jamal Moss appealed to C. V. Bethel Senior High School students to cherish their opportunity to receive an education and take it seriously as it is a consequence of Majority Rule. Which of the following statements is true? This principle is mainly used in politics. The British political philosopher John Stuart Mill took this principle further. Thus, when it is said that “the people have spoken” or the “people's will should be respected,” the people are generally expressed through its majority. Majority rule, while not overcoming all the obstacles to black entrepreneurs, certainly made it possible for many to take advantage of opportunities previously denied them. Just as the Supreme Court had earlier tolerated and then, in its infamous Dred Scot decision, legitimized slavery, its rulings in the 1880s and 1890s gave legal sanction to segregation and denial of voting rights. Allowing minorities to succeed would mean treating each of their votes as carrying more weight than members of the majority. In a choice or vote between two or more options, the option that wins over 50% of the vote wins. It is the binary decision rule used most often in influential decision-making bodies, including all the legislatures of democratic nations. What is left out of the dictionary definition of democracy is what constitutes “the people.” In practice, democracy is governed by its most popularly understood principle: majority rule. She added that another agenda was to honor the persons who were instrumental in Majority Rule such as Maurice Moore. The most well-known is the 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson that established the discriminatory doctrine of “separate but equal.”.