Q:

What are the main characteristics of democracies?

A:

Quick Answer

Characteristics of democracy are inclusion of the public in the process of governmental elections, majority rule, establishment of basic human rights and free and fair elections. Democratic governments exist around the world and fall into the two categories of direct and representative. Direct democratic governments allow citizens of legal voting age to establish rules and laws, while representative democracies use elected officials for rule-making.

Continue Reading
What are the main characteristics of democracies?
Credit: GPS CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Of the two types of democratic government, representative democracies occur most frequently. While some countries feature one type of democratic government, others contain elements of both. In the United States, for instance, elected officials make the majority of decisions affecting Americans. Individual states, however, have provisions allowing for the recall of elected officials and for amending laws.

Democratic governments operate on the provision of majority rule, which states that laws enter into effect when approved by a large percentage of the population. Laws, however, protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens, including minorities. Democratic governments also allow for participation by a variety of groups, institutions and political parties. These ancillary groups operate independently of the central government, but have a participatory role, through the voices of citizens, in governmental actions and affairs. In contrast to democratic systems of governance, authoritarian governments divert power into the hands of the central government.

Learn more about Types of Government
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is not part of the foundations of democracy?

    A:

    Guaranteed respect for human rights, separation of powers among state institutions, freedom of opinion and expression, religious liberty, the general and equal right to vote, and good governance are basic requirements or foundations of modern democracies. Anything that compromises or opposes these are not part of the foundations of democracy.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the key components of a democracy?

    A:

    The key components of a democracy are free and fair elections, the active participation of citizens in the government, protection of human rights for citizens of the democracy and laws that are applied fairly among all citizens.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the five foundations of democracy?

    A:

    The five foundations, or basic principles, of democracy are social equality, majority rule, minority rights, freedom and integrity. All of these have a common basis in the fundamental ethical principle of mutual respect for diversity.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some positive aspects of democracy?

    A:

    Some positive aspects of democracy are its inclusion of diverse perspectives, its beneficial effects on citizens' character and the stability that it provides to government. As stated by the U.S. Department of State, these positive aspects allow democratically governed nations to better secure peace, expand markets, promote economic development, prevent international crime, uphold human rights, protect the global environment and protect human health.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore