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.Know More
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
Direct democracy is a form of government in which citizens rather than representatives decide the laws and policies that govern them. Direct democracy contrasts with a representative democracy, where representatives make policy decisions on behalf of citizens.Full Answer >
The term "oligarchy" refers to a form of government that concentrates power in the hands of an elite group, rather than a central figure, an elected assembly or the people at large, and the primary advantages appear to exist for the benefit of that elite group, while the disadvantages apply to the rest of the citizens who have to follow laws written to benefit that small group. Oligarchies often come about as a response to social disaster, such as the fallout in Germany after World War I or the ruling group in the fictitious country of Oceania that emerged in George Orwell's novel "1984."Full Answer >
In a democracy, the rights of the majority can overwhelm the rights of the minority, whereas in a republic, a constitution or charter protects its citizens with laws that cannot be changed by a simple majority vote.Full Answer >
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 >