Government by the people, especially majority rule; b a government in which the supreme authority is placed in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation, generally involving free elections held on a regular basis. The term "democracy" has been used to describe governments as different as pure democracy (where all citizens are equal owners of the government) and oligarchy (rule by the few). These two forms of government are often called "majoritarian democracies".
In a true democracy, the will of the people should be able to be expressed at every level from local to global. In practice, this does not always occur; some form of privilege or power tends to favor some over others. For example, women have never been given the right to vote in most true democracies. Other minorities such as indigenous peoples or slaves have also been denied certain rights for various reasons.
Some countries claim to be democratic but in fact they operate with many of the same rules that usually define an authoritarian state. Democratic states tend to have open borders, allow freedom of speech, and protect human rights. They may even permit religious freedom. However, political power is rarely held by the people themselves, but rather by a small group that uses its control of the media, education, and other levers of power to maintain its position.
A democratic system of government is one in which supreme authority is bestowed in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation, often involving periodic free elections.
In a democracy, power is derived from the people and they can remove it by changing their representatives at any time. A democracy requires a substantial number of people who are willing to take part in this process. Often, for any given country, this means that most people must share common beliefs about what society should be like and how it should be run. Otherwise, there would be no point in having an election since one party could simply pick someone new who will do their bidding.
All true democracies have several things in common: They are based on the belief that citizens should have a voice in their government. They allow for open debate on political issues and seek to accommodate many different points of view. They also require some degree of participation by their populations. Some countries may have any, some may have only certain types of governments, but they all hold elections at least once every few years.
In addition to these requirements, a country cannot be considered as democratic if the elite group that wields the greatest power over the population has complete freedom to decide how they want to be represented.
A form of governance by the entire population or all eligible citizens of a state, usually through elected representatives, is known as a democracy, republic, self-government, or commonwealth. This type of government was established in the United States and France among others.
Synonyms for "democracy" include: political system, government, rule, opinion, will, liberty. The word democracy means "the government of the people," "a form of government where the people rule," or "a form of government in which the people are involved." Synonyms for "representative democracy" include: government, regime, system, agency, structure.
In a pure democracy, the people are the rulers, and govern themselves by voting on each issue before them. In practice this is not possible, so we must have some kind of representation from the people. A pure democracy has no senate, congress or other legislative body, but instead the people vote on issues directly. In ancient Athens, the people voted on questions brought before the Assembly by heralds. The people could also bring matters before the Assembly by petition. The people decided what role they wanted their leaders to play, and then elected officials to serve as proxies for them. Today in most democracies, voters choose delegates who make decisions about which party's candidates should be chosen to represent them in Congress or similar bodies.