What exactly is democracy? According to Wikipedia: “In the political systems of many nations, democracy refers to a system in which elected or elective leaders participate in regular elections to form the governments of their nation-states. Elected leaders can be voted into office by the citizens, or they may be selected through a process of nomination, election, and recall.” These definitions from the encyclopedia would seem to imply that a form of government by which a people participate is democracy. However, the term “democracy” actually has a longer history than the one provided above. In fact, the etymology of the word comes from Greek, meaning “vote.”
Aristotle distinguished four types of democracy, which are hereditari (the rule of the majority), aristocrari (the rule of the elite), and plenipotari (the majority rule). He claimed that there are three different types of democracy. In hereditari democracy, the citizens have the power to rule themselves; in aristocrariarchy, the majority rules; and in plenipotari democracy, a majority vote decides. In addition, Aristotle added that democracy was a form of government where the ruler had to be selected by the people through election. Aristotle argued that the demos, or the masses, were the true citizens of a country. According to Aristotle, a demos is the majority of the people in a community.
In modern times, however, democracy has become associated with liberal democracy, which regards freedom of speech and religion as universal values. In addition, liberal democracy often supports immediate freedom of self-determination, with the right of peoples to break away from states that do not meet their expectations. Many theorists argue that freedom of association is the key to democracy. In a free country, citizens are allowed the freedom to associate with other citizens, as well as other organizations and groups, without suffering legal penalties for doing so.
Historically, there are four types of democratic governments. The most famous ones are democracy in autocratic nations, constitutional democracy in constitutional monarchies, and representative democracy in multiparty countries. Nations with extensiverepublican systems often develop a mixed system of indirect and direct democracy. In many cases, one type of democracy is developed within a country’s system of indirect democracy, while the other forms of democracy are developed directly within the polity. In some cases, there is considerable interchangeability between these types of democracy.
democracy is considered a form of representative form of government because it permits two groups of people to make political decisions. In direct democracy, the people decide who shall hold office and how they shall do it, whereas in multiparty democracy, the same persons serve as representatives of many constituents. In constitutional democracy, the government checks the legality of political decisions by an established political framework, such as laws passed by the constitution. In autocratic nations, all citizens are allowed to participate in the making of political decisions through popular assemblies or parliaments, with each group having a majority of seats in the legislature. In representative democracy, the legislature is formed by the election of representatives from a majority of votes gained by the voters.
The distinguishing features of democracy are its formalism and mobility. In democracy, all political decisions are made through elected representatives. Governments are generally based on the consent of the governed through a process of voting. Through a system of proportional representation, the power of choosing candidates for representation in the legislature is limited to the number of seats allotted to each party. Finally, unlike in autocracies where a single person is selected as the leader, representatives are selected from a list of candidates approved by the population through voting.