Consultative democracy for the people
China has set the direction for the development of a multi-level and consultative democracy with Chinese characteristics. As a special form of socialist democracy, consultative democracy is endogenous to China and has been independently explored by the Chinese people and crystallized by political wisdom and traditional culture in accordance with the country’s national conditions.
Over the past century, the Communist Party of China has combined the Marxist theory of democracy with China’s national conditions and concrete realities, absorbed the achievements and lessons of political civilization, and explored the path of socialist democracy. . After years of arduous explorations, China has finally found a democratic institutional arrangement and a form of democracy with distinctive Chinese characteristics in consultative democracy.
“Electoral democracy” and “consultative democracy” are two important forms of socialist democracy. Electoral democracy is the most influential and widespread form of democracy, which directly reflects a country’s level of democracy, while consultative democracy was developed by the Chinese people and is in accordance with national conditions and actual needs. from China.
In China, electoral democracy and consultative democracy are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they have different functions and play different roles at different levels. Within the framework of socialist democracy, the two forms of democracy are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
For example, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference is a special political advisory body and part of the CPC-led multiparty political consultation and cooperation system. The system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC, the system of people’s congresses, including the National People’s Congress, and the system of regional ethnic group autonomy provide the institutional guarantee that the people are the masters of the country.
Under the leadership of the CPC and thanks to the practical explorations of the Chinese people, China has established a consultative democracy with Chinese characteristics. China’s socialist consultative democracy is dedicated to promoting consultation among political parties, people’s congresses, governments, people’s political consultative conferences, other people’s organizations, and community and social organizations in a coordinated manner.
In today’s China, state organs, non-Communist parties, people’s organizations, community organizations, enterprises, public institutions, social organizations and think tanks conduct consultations in an orderly manner. under the leadership of the Party, promoting the coordinated advancement of multiple consultation channels in China.
China has also developed consultative democracy at the community level and established various channels to promote democracy, including democracy forums and residents’ forums. This means that socialist consultative democracy has a solid historical and cultural basis in China.
Chinese culture has richly nurtured consultative democracy with Chinese characteristics. Among the characteristic features of Chinese culture are the harmony and peaceful coexistence between man and nature. He also advocates the concepts of “do unto others what you would not have done to you” and “harmony without uniformity”.
Chinese culture, in addition to promoting inclusiveness, also advocates finding common ground and working for the common good while putting aside differences. These ideas contain the values of ordinary people in everyday life and reflect their unique spirituality.
The CPC has led the Chinese people and transformed the country’s traditional consultative culture under new historical conditions to develop consultative democracy. Under China’s socialist system, refraining from confrontation, not undermining others, and finding the greatest shared interests and consensus among people’s wishes and demands are regarded as the essence of people’s democracy.
In fact, consultative democracy is rooted in China’s historical and cultural traditions and has developed into a form of democracy with Chinese characteristics that highlights the rich democratic values of the Chinese people.
To judge whether a country’s democratic system is good or not, you have to know what people think about it. The Chinese people attach great importance to consultative democracy, as it has a distinct problem-solving function and is committed to resolving issues concerning the vital interests of the people and society.
Take the example of the CPPCC. As an important platform of the political consultation system, it plays a key role in connecting parties, people’s organizations, different sectors of society and ethnic groups, participates in deliberation and administration of state affairs and helps oversee democratic activities, thereby promoting democracy and scientific decision-making in the Party and the State.
Policy consultation involves finding common ground while setting aside differences and thus embodies the spirit of cooperation, participation, dialogue and inclusiveness, which is conducive to inclusion and expression of various interests.
Through the CPPCC, people from all walks of life have the opportunity to conduct democratic and sincere consultations and discussions before and during the decision-making process on major national policies and important issues concerning economic and social development.
People’s consultative democracy has developed in China and meets the practical needs of social governance. The forms and channels of democracy created by Chinese democratic practices at the local level have helped to develop consultative democracy and to understand the needs and concerns of the people so that they can be duly taken into account.
They have also helped to find the greatest possible consensus among social perceptions and achieve social consensus, boost social development, strengthen social solidarity and democratic governance, and advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The author is a researcher at the Institute of Political Science of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.