Democracy

Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Cornerstones include freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life and minority rights. Prevalent day-to-day decision making of democracies is the majority rule.

About Democracy in brief

Summary DemocracyDemocracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Cornerstones include freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life and minority rights. Prevalent day-to-day decision making of democracies is the majority rule, though other decision making approaches like supermajority and consensus have been equally integral to democracies. The term appeared in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens, to mean rule of the people. The English word dates back to the 16th century, from the older Middle French and Middle Latin equivalents. In some countries, notably the United Kingdom, which originated the dominant principle of democracy, that is that the people can choose their government. Roger Scruton argues that democracy alone cannot provide personal freedom unless the institutions of civil society are also present. He argues that without political freedom and freedom of speech, civil society is not a civil society and cannot provide the personal freedom that democracy is supposed to provide. The article is based on a book, Democracy: Theory and Practice, published by Oxford University Press, and is published by Macmillan Publishers, priced £16.99. For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here for details.

In the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or see www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. In Europe, call the European Union on 0800 0300 90 90 or visit a national suicide prevention Lifeline, based on www.samaritans.org, for details on how to contact the National suicide preventionlifeline in your country of origin, or visit http://www.nsu.org/. In the UK, call your local suicide prevention helpline on 0808 909090 or call the national suicide Prevention Lifline on 0800 809090. The UK has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, with more than 10,000 people a year killed by suicide. The European Union’s definition of ‘suicide’ is that people who kill themselves or are killed by their loved ones are not considered to be ‘socially responsible’ or ‘targets of justice’. The definition of the term ‘democracy’ has been used as shorthand for liberal democracy, which may include elements such as political pluralism; equality before the law; the right to petition for redress of grievances; due process; civil liberties; and elements of civil rights; and the rule of law. It is sometimes used shorthand for ‘liquid democracy’, which is a variant of liberal democracy. Liquid democracy combines elements of these two basic types of democracy. It can be found in countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Canada and the UK.