What Is Democracy?

Democracy is a political system that relies on the free and informed consent of its citizens in order to govern. There are many different kinds of democratic systems in the world, from presidential and parliamentary democracies to mixed-electoral and proportional ones. Democracy is a global political ideal, and the international community has made it an important goal to promote and encourage democracy at the local and national levels.

A democracy allows the people to control the government by means of elections and referendums. It also ensures that the rights of citizens are protected by constitutionally established laws and conventions, and a legal system that complements the political structure. Democracy also offers opportunities for social progress and development that other forms of governing cannot provide.

All governments are vulnerable to exploitation by those who gain power, but democracy is less susceptible because the people can vote out those in charge and there are laws in place to limit the powers of elected officials. Unlike other governmental formations, a democratic system also enables citizens to communicate with government leaders directly through their elected representatives or the media.

In addition, the democratic structure allows for freedom of association, which gives citizens a right to discuss issues with each other, form interest groups and lobbying groups, and protest decisions they disagree with. This right is a fundamental element of democracy and is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

A key part of democracy is the idea that all members of a society are equal and should be treated equally. This concept is often interpreted as the formal equality of one-person, one-vote in an election for members of parliament where there are competing candidates. However, there are many different ideas of what the concept of equality should mean in a democracy, and these ideas differ greatly from one society to another.

It is important for young people to become engaged in the political process at a local level, so that they have a say on the issues that affect them. This is not easy, but it can be rewarding. Many young people choose to do this by joining environmental or other protest groups that campaign against exploitation of the environment, war or child labour. This can help to foster a sense of patriotism and loyalty to their nation. It is also a good idea for young people to stay well informed about what is happening in the world, through the media or their own elected representatives, and make their opinions known, either by contacting their representatives or through other channels.