Consider the view that efficient government is more important than democracy.

YES: Democracy obstructs efficient government in many areas of life and it is often necessary and essential to societal well-being to choose the latter over the former.

  1. In times of national emergency, it may be more important to implement direct and efficient measures to solve the crisis rather than expose the decision-making process to mass consultation exercises that delay prompt resolution.   

  2. In matters relating to national security, an efficient government which identifies threats and attends to them promptly, such as through preventive detention of suspected terrorists, is preferable to one which observes the niceties of democracy that ultimately weaken the nation’s security to both internal and external threats.

  3. Various aspects of national development, such as the rezoning of residential sites or resettlement of squatters, involve sacrificing the interests of some stakeholders for the country’s greater good, making efficient policies which attend to these issues more relevant than attempts to resolve incompatible needs through endless rounds of negotiation with stakeholders.     

NO: Efficient government may be had at the cost of democracy and lead to unacceptable societal outcomes, making it important that we preserve democracy over government efficiency.

  1. Governments may have their own vested interests or agenda in rushing policy decisions in the name of efficiency, making consultation with the public an important process to prevent either the abuse of government power or poorly thought-through policies.

  2. Preserving democracy far outweighs efficiency as governments that sacrifice the more progressive aspects of democracy, such as human rights, in favor of efficiency in their national security operations may irreparably damage their moral legitimacy amongst the international community.

  3. Various aspects of national development may needlessly sacrifice the needs of disempowered communities, making democracy and the pursuit of justice through civic action or media publicity more important than efficient governments which may be guilty of colluding with economic or social elites in the exploitative acts.