As the decision-making process is based on norms and procedures, citizens have the rights and means to examine the decisions. Thus, the government is accountable to its citizens. The government needs to be attentive to the needs of its people and be free of corruption. The expected political outcome of democracy is an accountable, responsive and legitimate government.
Measures of accountability are:
- Regular, free and fair elections
- Open public debate on major policies and legislations
- Citizens’ right to information about the government and its functioning
Democracies have displayed a mixed record on each measure. The Right to Information (RTI) Act is a law enacted by the Parliament of India giving citizens the right to access the records of the Central government and the state governments. Under the provisions of the act, any citizen may request information from a public authority, who is required to reply expeditiously or within 30 days.
Democracies are often non-responsive to its people. A democratic government is a legitimate government, the people's own government. Democracies often ignore the needs and wants of its citizens.
Democracy is the most preferred form of government based on its political outcome of accountability, responsiveness and legitimacy, despite its shortcomings.