In order to have a good government, the people are the most important part. It is ultimately the people who have to live with what they choose. The government has to protect the people’s natural rights and beliefs. It has to do whatever is necessary to look out for the peoples best interests. The Declaration of Independence and Robespierre’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen both have more similarities than differences for the characteristics of a “good government.” It is mans natural rights of protection, laws, speech and property that must be preserved by a government that’s only function is to serve the people.
A good government needs to be strong and organized. It’s strength must come from enforcing a set of clear and unambiguous set of written laws, “which must be equal for all” (Robespierre, 70). The government also has to keep a strong defense from a foreign invasion and be able to enforce laws and protect citizens locally. The government has to be organized and be limited to only a few divisions. A strong central body is crucial whether it is one person or a few, but they cannot have absolute power. It should be clear and obvious to the people what the divisions of the government are, and what each divisions does. All citizens should have an equal opportunity to participate in the government. “All citizens have an equal right to concur in the nomination of the representatives of the people and in the formation of laws” (Robespierre, 71).
Government run programs are essential and they have to come from taxation of the people. However, the people have a right to vote on what they are being taxed on and how much they will be taxed. This tax has to be,”divided equally among the members of the community , according to their abilities” (69). The taxes will be used exclusively for the peoples best interests. These taxes also have to provide for a welfare program, “society is obliged to provide… existence to those who are unable to work” (71). (I also believe in todays society, the importance of a government run healthcare program for all citizens.)
The freedom of speech is a critical right that the people must have in a good government. People must be able to express their opinions about the government without fear. “…Every citizen may speak, write and publish freely , provided he is responsible for the abuse of this liberty in cases determined by the law” (69). Because it is ultimately the people who have control over the government , and if they’re not happy with it they can say so. If the government becomes too corrupt and stops looking out for the peoples best interest, the people will rebel. “When the government violates the rights of the people , insurrection is the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties for the people and for the each and every portion thereof” (72).
A “good government” is essentially the peoples government. The people choose what they want, they vote on it and they can change what they don’t like. Therefore the role of the government is to serve the people, not for the people to serve the government. The government has to protect the peoples natural rights and should be able to adapt with the people and a changing society. What was good a hundred years ago isn’t necessarily good today.