What Is the Traditional Democratic Theory?

The traditional democratic theory emphasizes the values of liberty, equality and justice in any system of governance. It promotes the rule of majority, while protecting minority rights and maintaining the readiness to compromise. The traditional democratic rule recognizes everyone’s worth and dignity.

The theory provides for everyone’s participation in government either by direct or representative vote. The people have the final say over public policy in a direct vote, which is more effective on a small scale, such as in a town conference. In a representative vote, sections of the public elect officials to serve in government on their behalf. Such a system is employed at the state and national levels to formulate public policy. Rule via voting works best when voters are given equal access to information.

Democratic systems replaced absolute rule by monarchs and emperors, which undermined personal freedoms despite bringing law and order. However, democracy calls for a balance between freedom and order, because absolute freedom can lead to inequality, especially where the stronger and more ambitious in the society are free to acquire more wealth and dominance at the expense of the weaker ones. Still, the more hardworking people should not be constrained from striving for economic success, such as via extreme taxation.