Democracy Facts

Democracy Facts
Democracy is a system that gives every person, with a legal right to vote, the opportunity to vote for the representatives they wish to make government decisions. Democracy is meant to give every citizen the ability to vote in elections in a free society, the protection of human rights, and law that applies to everyone equally. The term 'democracy' appeared in Greek philosophy and politics in Athens, and the Athenians established the first democracy in 508-507 BC. The word 'democracy' meant 'rule by the people'. President Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as "Government of the people, by the people, for the people."
Interesting Democracy Facts:
In a democracy the people have a say in who governs their society, which can be changed through elections. In dictatorships or monarchies the power is held by one person and a revolution or other act must occur to remove them in most cases.
In a direct democracy every person has a right to vote on all important issues and decisions. This is difficult with a very large population.
In a representative democracy citizens elect representatives to act on their behalf in the government to vote on decisions.
Examples of representative democracies include the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
One of the key elements of a democracy includes the guarantee of human rights to every person.
A key element of democracy is that there is a separation of the institutions within, between government, parliament, and the courts of law.
In a democracy there is a freedom of religion, freedom of opinion (in speech, press, and media), and the right to vote (one person equals one vote).
In a democracy the focus of the government is meant to be on public interest and it is meant to operate in the absence of corruption.
Democracy is not a perfect form of government as it has many issues that make it difficult for proper representation of the people. These issues include the fact that running for office is expensive and this often means only the wealthy reach office.
Voters in a democracy often are misinformed or uninformed and have no idea what or who they are voting for.
Often there is corruption within a democracy which can affect voting outcomes and potentially lead to unfair election practices.
Because democracies are so large and often inefficient, making decisions can take a long time.
The richest countries in the world are considered to be democracies.
The democracy of countries is measured by several different publications including Worldwide Press Freedom Index, Freedom in the World, Freedom of the Press, and the Index of Freedom in the World, among others.
Beyond direct and representative democracies there are also less popular forms of governance and variations on democracy including a presidential democracy, semi-direct democracy, constitutional monarchy, republic, liberal democracy, socialist, anarchist, sortation, consociational democracy, consensus democracy, supranational, inclusive democracy, participatory, cosmopolitan, and creative democracy.
One downfall to democracy is the potential for voters to make decisions based on poor information or total ignorance.
Some believe that democracy, with its frequent changes in government, leads to political instability.

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