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What is Democracy? What are its Features?


Democracy is a form of government. Its name comes from Greek for "rule by the people". Majority rule is a major principle of democracy


Common features of democracy are:
  • Competitive elections
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of the press
  • Rule of law
  • Civilian control of the military.
  • Democracy is often seen as a necessity to prevent military dictatorship and interference with political affairs.

    Democracy has been called the "last form of government" and has spread considerably across the globe.

    In a democracy the final decision making power must rest with those elected by the people.

    So, a democracy must be based on a free and fair election where those currently in power have a fair chance of losing in a democracy, each adult citizen must have one vote and each vote must have one value.

    A democratic government rules within limits set by constitutional law and citizens’ rights.


      Self identified Democratic Governments
    Self identified Non- Democratic Governments

    Since World War II, democracy has spread across the globe and gained acceptance. The map displayed above shows the official self identification made by world governments with regard to democracy, as of June 2006. It shows the status of democracy in the world.

    Democracy is the most prevalent form of government in the world today and it is expanding to more countries.

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