Democracy is defined as a form of government where the citizens have the control to deliberate about the political system, laws and order, or to select governing officials to carry out these. A form of popular government in Latin, it is also known as representative government. It has existed for nearly 5000 years and still continues to be an important principle in today’s society. Democracies are based on fairness, legitimacy and freedom and individual freedoms protected by the law.
democracy is an inherently fair system where the governed have the ability to control their government through a vote. Because of this, there are few instances when societies need to resort to violence as a means to achieve political ends. Additionally, with a majority of citizens usually participating in any decision making, a democracy provides a vibrant environment in which differing opinions can be voiced and a healthy debate on matters important to the citizenry can take place. Without a free and fair election process, a democracy may not remain viable over time.
There are four distinct types of democracy that are recognized internationally: representative democracy, multiparty democracy, absolute democracy, and republicans. Representative democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is controlled through a system of voting and election day to day. The term “republican” is used to describe a country in which an institution of representative government exists, with freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by the constitution.
In representative democracy, the citizens enjoy a system of direct election through a first-past-the-pole system. Elected leaders are selected by party leaders based on patronage and loyalty rather than performance. The opposition party, the ruling party, and the impartial legislature all have an equal say in who forms the legislature. Presidents, cabinets, and other top officials are also chosen by the same system. This type of democracy is a constitutional system where citizens are allowed to have access to various public policy making positions through an election. Although this type of system provides an opposition party with a legitimate argument for being in charge, it also denies citizens any real power at all.
A multi-party democracy is another form of democracy that is recognized internationally. Because this type of democracy allows all political parties to have an equal opportunity to win votes and become part of the political system, it provides a checks and balances role for checks and balances in government. It also encourages competitive and inclusive politics because different political parties can come together to make policies that benefit their constituents. The general welfare of the country is protected in a multi-party democracy, and citizens are given the opportunity to participate in various decisions that affect their lives.
Absolute democracy, also referred to as autocratic government, is limited only to a single political party with an absolute leader who controls the media and legislature. All other aspects of society are ruled through the leadership. Through the centuries, many different types of democracy have been developed throughout history; however, the most developed system of direct democracy has been in Europe throughout history. This system has allowed individuals and nations to develop their societies without the interference of other institutions such as religion or traditional guilds. Today, the world still recognizes and respects the systems of direct democracy.