Essay on Government: Democracy and Democracies Majority Rule

Submitted By jaxmont
Words: 367
Pages: 2

Basic Concepts of Democracy

• From the Greek demos (people) and kratia (to rule). Thus ~ rule by the people Too simple & naïve • Democracy is a system of government in which people select policy makers so that policies reflect the will of those governed. (explain…)

Two forms of Democracy
• Direct democracy allows the people the authority to govern themselves directly • People make and vote on policies in forums • Only exist in small communities today

Two forms of Democracy
• Representative democracy people select representatives and give them authority to make laws and run the government • Also known as: republic, indirect democracy and constitutional republic • Still in all, power ultimately rests with the public • Legitimacy and Revolution?

Characteristics of Democracies
• Individual liberty • Majority rule with consideration of the rights of the minority • Free elections • Competing political parties

Characteristics of Democracies

Individual Liberty
• Freedom of speech does not give a person the right to scream, “Fire!” In a crowded theater ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

• Remember the social contract, we agree to give up freedom for security and the rule of law. • Civil liberties (freedom) is relative not absolute.

Characteristics of Democracies

Majority Rule with Minority Rights
• Minority refers to numerical minority not race • Elections are won by the candidate who wins the majority of votes. (Duh!) • However, those who hold power should be considerate of the minority because the minority can become the