1. The Meaning of Democracy
  2. Representative Democracy
  3. Characteristics of Representative Democracy
  4. Merits and Demerits of Representative Democracy


The Meaning of Democracy

Democracy is seen as government based on the consent of the people. In the words of the 16th American president, Abraham Lincoln, democracy is the ‘‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’’.

The word democracy emanated from two Greek words, DEMOS, meaning people and KRATOS, meaning power and government, thus democracy is said to mean a governmental system which is based on popular election and representation.

Representative Democracy

Democracy in contemporary times does not require the direct involvement of every citizen in the art and process of governance. Rather, few people are usually chosen to act as representatives of the entire populace. This selection is done through the accepted channel of free and fair elections.

Thus representative democracy refers to a system of government in which the people elect representatives that take care of their interests and needs in the state.

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