One of the most significant societal benefits of a democracy is that it is intended to provide equality and access to opportunity for all citizens. Additionally, a democracy is designed with checks and balances to minimize the potential for abuses of political power.Continue Reading
A democracy gives citizens the ability to influence laws and policies through the election of representatives. Through support of certain candidates and public communication, citizens are able to influence the direction of economic, social and political values. Because of this power in the hands of everyday citizens, the theoretical political control of the country lies with the majority as opposed to a select few in power.
If a single politician or a particular party takes on too much power and control, the popular majority has the chance to vote elected officials out of office. In fact, democratic governments often have systems in place to moderate the power of individuals or branches of government.
Democracy also contributes to a sense of freedom, which has significant cultural importance. People tend to have higher morale and a better quality of life when they feel like they have basic human rights. Closely related is the ability of citizens to pursue economic gain. Unlike socialist governments, democracies tend to promote benefits to private enterprises. Such financial opportunity drives innovation and new business development.Learn more about Types of Government
A direct democracy permits citizens to directly vote on legislation rather than voting for a representative who takes on the task himself. Because the decision making process is left to the people, this form of governmental rule is seen as more equitable and less arbitrary. De-centralization is another advantage of using this type of process. However, using a direct system can result in voter fraud or the exploitation of minorities.Full Answer >
Pros of a representative democracy include efficiency, and officials that are democratically elected; cons include elected officials not being held accountable for their actions and citizens cannot participate in this type of democracy. The United Kingdom and the United States both have a representative democracy.Full Answer >
A federal democracy is a political system in which citizens have equal participation in government and government is divided into two sovereign levels, such as a national government and state governments. Because of the extensive geography and population of most federal states, federal democracies are representative in nature. Various countries in western society have adopted versions of federal democracy.Full Answer >
Fascism is a dictatorial form of government that rejects the tenets of democracy, socialism and capitalism, and a fascist will believe that the state has the right to take extreme measures, including conducting surveillance on its own citizens, to ensure citizens' adherence to rules and the dictator's continuing power. This is an absolutist form of government in which the ruling party and single person in power are held to be superior to all other citizens. Fascists do not believe strongly in human rights, such as freedom of speech and the right to protest the government and, as such, political demonstration and protest is typically a dangerous endeavor for those people living under fascist rule.Full Answer >