Government

Democracy and Types of Democracy

Alfred Ajibola - Sat, 24th August, 2019 @ 15:23: PM

Topics in Government

Democracy and Types of Democracy Characteristics of Democracy Forms of Government Characteristics, Functions and Importance of Government Definitions and Branches of Government Organs or Arms or Branches of Government Meaning, Types, Qualities and Importance of Constitution Meaning, Types and Characteristics of Pressure Group Gender Equality, Ways to achieve Gender Equality



Academic Questions in Government

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The definition of democracy as "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is a concept of _____.

  • A. John F. Kennedy
  • B. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • C. Aristotle
  • D. George W. Bush
  • E. Kamala Harris
  • F. Abraham Lincoln

A form of government where the wealthy rule the people is known as _____.

  • A. plutocracy
  • B. timocracy
  • C. technocracy
  • D. meritocracy
  • E. richocracy
  • F. autocracy

Which of the following countries isn't a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR)?

  • A. Malta
  • B. Latvia
  • C. Moldova
  • D. Estonia
  • E. Georgia
  • F. Uzbekistan

What is Democracy?

Democracy is one of the systems or forms of government. It focuses more on the people (citizens) of a nation or state. The practice of democracy provides an opportunity for each citizen to vote or be voted for with regards to national or political office within the state where it is practiced. The term democracy can be expressed in a variety of ways. Below are some definitions:

Democracy can be defined as the government by the people in whom ultimate and supreme power lies; and is exercised through their vote in a free and fair electoral system.

Democracy may also be defined as a government formed by the consent of the governed.

Think of the governed as those whom the leaders of a nation serve.

Another definition for democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Abraham Lincoln

Democracy is often considered to be the best form of government because it allows the people (citizens) to choose and reject their leaders. Rejection of their leaders comes into context when such leaders no longer serve the interest of the people who voted them in.

Note: Democracy assures the citizens of some basic rights that no one can take away from them. Please read on fundamental human rights here.

Examples of countries practicing democracy include Nigeria, United States of America, India, South Africa and France among others.

Democracy can take a variety of instance depending on the nation’s geopolitical terrain, ideology or history. For this reason, we have different type or forms of democracy.

 

Types or Forms of Democracy

  • Direct Democracy

Direct democracy empowers the citizens such that they become an active and vital part in any decision making process of the country. The citizens go to vote directly for a bill to be passed into law; as they do not need any form of representative (for instance, the lawmakers or legislature or the upper and lower houses) to vote such bill. In some cases, the people practicing direct democracy could raise up important issues which the government must look into. The people eventually vote on such issues, and based on the outcome, it may be passed into law.

Direct democracy is not feasible in a large society as we have in modern times. Also, when the people are of different tribes or ethnicity, it may also become difficult to achieve.

Once upon a time, direct democracy was practiced in ancient Greek cities of Sparta and Athens. Also, Switzerland has a good history of direct democracy and even to this day, certain parts of the country still practice this kind of democracy. Ideally, direct democracy is practiced in villages or rural areas consisting of a specific tribe. It is also practiced in a small and homogenous state (a state where the people share a common origin; for instance, they share the same culture and speak similar languages).

Note: Size is a limiting factor for the practice of direct democracy.

 

  • Representative Democracy

Also called Indirect democracy, representative democracy requires that the citizens elect or vote in those that will represent/govern their state on their behalf. This type of democracy is the most common of all democracy forms or types since it is quite impossible for everyone in a state to frequently convene at a place in order to take decisions on their state.

Representative democracy gives the people an opportunity to choose the most qualified sets of persons to represent the state. The chosen representatives are able to present the grievances or sufferings of their state and its people in a more effective and convincing manner. These representatives are normally elected to serve periodically through the voting system (for instance, they may be voted in to serve their state for four years).

A representative democracy can become disadvantageous when the voted representatives fail to deliver their mandate on their state and people. In this case, they put themselves and their families first by embezzling the money meant for the development of the state involved.

Countries like Nigeria, USA, India and France all practice indirect or representative democracy.

 

  • Authoritarian Democracy

In an authoritarian democracy, only the elites (educated and rich) are allowed to be voted for. Ordinary people and the masses cannot contest for electoral positions and thus, have no chance to be political leaders.

Russia and Hong Kong are sometimes considered to run an authoritarian democracy.

Please read on autocracy and the various forms of government here.

 

  • Constitutional Democracy

A constitutional democracy utilizes the constitution in determining the right to rule. Under this system, the constitution defines democracy, powers of the government and spells out how such government must operate. This is so because the rule of law; which is based on the rights of the people is taken from the constitution.

By definition, a constitution is the supreme law in a country, nation or state.

It specifies how the nation or state should be governed; while also attributing power to the different arms of government (that is, the executive, judiciary and legislature).

Please read more on Constitution here.

You can read on the Arms of Government here.

Note: Constitutional democracy states the powers of the presidents, governors, senators, ministers, legislatures and other government representatives. It is practiced in the United States of America, Nigeria and Ghana.

 

  • Participatory democracy

Participatory democracy presents an opportunity for each citizen of a country or state to be a part of the decision making process. To achieve this, the governance of the state is usually broken down into small communities, giving a rise to grassroots politics. This kind of democracy can be quite difficult to achieve since the number of grass roots communities can become overtly large; giving rise to complexities and complications.

Participatory democracy is sometimes considered as an opposite to Authoritarian democracy.

 

  • Islamic Democracy

The Islamic law serves as the corner stone to which Islamic democracy is laid. This type/form of democracy has three main features:

  1. The leaders are elected by the people through a voting system.
  2. Sharia law becomes a standard which all must abide to. (The leaders as well as the followers).
  3. The leader practices a special form of consultation practiced by Prophet Muhammad. This practice is called shura.

Countries that practice an ideal Islamic democracy include Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.


len

Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.


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Amazing facts in Government


NOTABLE POINTS IN Government

Anarchy is one of the forms of government. Ironically, it is the absence of government in a society, country or state.

An instance of anarchy occurred in Somalia in 1991 after a dictator name Said Barre was overthrown. This made Somalia disintegrate into fractions with local warlords imposing their authority over their land/area.

Other forms of government includes:

  1. Oligarchy
  2. Colonialism
  3. Monarchy
  4. Communism
  5. Federalism
  6. Dictatorship
  7. Democracy
  8. Meritocracy
  9. Autocracy
  10. Aristocracy 

Please read on the various forms of government here

Democracy is a form of government where the power of choosing a leader is vested on the people. It represents a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

According to Abrahim Lincoln,

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In democracy, the citizens have the rights to vote and be voted for. The citizens are mandated to choose their preferred candidate by voting for them through their political party. In fact, this voting process is considered as one of the civic responsibility of every citizen.

Please read on the fundamental Human Rights here.

NOTE: No one is above the rule of law in the democratic system. If the election outcome does not reflect the mandate of the people, a court of competent jurisdiction can nullify such election.

Democracy is practiced in countries like Nigeria, United States of America, India and South Africa.

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