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Grassroots Democracy Is an Important Guarantee for Social Harmony


By Zhao Shukai, Development Research Center of the State Council

Democracy is by itself a value and embodies the essential requirement of socialism. The construction of democratic politics should not be in a utilitarian manner or with an absolute thinking. Neither should we come to the conclusion that if democracy is constructed well, economy will naturally develop faster. Democratic politics is a key influential factor of social progress and harmony and a basic approach to coordinating power relations and realizing social harmony. Since the launch of reform and opening-up, the structure of social strata in China has changed rapidly, the pattern of diversified interests for different social groups and equal competition for various social entities has gradually formed, and citizens, legal persons, and social organizations have required more rights for political participation. In face of the new era, constructing grassroots democratic politics is a major and urgent mission. First of all, we need to understand the important role of grassroots democracy in constructing social harmony. It can solve or relieve grassroots socio-economic problems through orderly democratic participation, prevent these problems from escalating into political problems or even political conflicts, and help the society develop on an orderly and rational interaction base among diversified interest social groups. It can enable the people to cultivate a manner to participate in political affairs according to law and gradually relieve the negative factors resulting from traditional political culture, thus reducing the incidents of winning political attention by radical words or actions. It can also inspire grassroots governments to be responsible for both the central government and the people. It is an institutional step to urge grassroots officials to establish a scientific outlook on development and an appropriate approach towards their performance. Second, developing grassroots democracy must improve the Party’s leadership style. The role of the Communist Party of China is to lead and support the people to be masters of the country. At grassroots level, it should make efforts to develop grassroots democratic politics under the Party’s leadership. The construction of grassroots democratic politics aims to lay institutional and political-cultural foundations for the people to be masters of the country. Third, developing grassroots democracy needs to raise the level of institutionalization. In the construction of grassroots democratic democracy, three links of work are interconnected including ideas and theories, rules and systems, and actual implementation. The major problems in the current construction of grassroots democratic politics are mainly reflected in ineffective implementation of relevant rules and systems. Meantime, there are defects relating to the guarantee for the legal system of grassroots democracy. Besides, established legal systems also need to be improved.

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