What is Democracy?

 

 

Democracy is a system of government involving all members of a state’s population or all eligible members of state. Often democratic governance is based upon the idea that elected officials represent their electorate views and wishes in governance, known as representative or indirect governance. However, democracy can also be in the form of direct democracy, a ‘pure’ form where people have a direct say on the decisions that affect them. A form of direct democracy can be seen in a referendum, a national vote whereby the electorate can vote on whether they support or reject a government proposal such as leaving the European Union.

Key Terms

 

Direct Democracy – A ‘pure’ form of democracy, where people have a direct say on the decisions that affect them. Different from indirect democracy.

Electorate – All the people within the country who are entitled to vote, e.g. within the voting age.

Government – The group of officials ruling a country or state (see the Government article for a more detailed explanation).

Referendum – A form of direct democracy, a national vote whereby the electorate can vote on whether they support or reject a government proposal such as leaving the European Union.

Representative Democracy/Indirect Democracy – A Democracy and method of governing based upon the idea that elected officials represent their electorate views and wishes in governance.

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