Have you ever thought about what it really means to live in a democratic society? Democracy is considered to be one of the main signs of the developed community. Do you know the main features of democracy? Study them right here!
What is democracy?
Democracy (basically meaning "power of people") is a political regime based on the method of collective decision-making with equal contribution of participants on the outcome of the process or on its significant stages.
This method can be applicable to any public structures, though today it is mostly applicable in the state since it has great power. In this case, the definition of democracy is usually narrowed to one of the following:
• the appointment of leaders by the people through honest and competitive elections;
• the people are the only legitimate source of power;
• The society carries out self-management for the sake of the general interests of the population.
What are the features of democracy?
The main features of democracy are indisputable initial requirements that are imposed on all participants of political activities in the country.
Basic features of democracy include:
1. Political freedom
This means a freedom of choice, social order and form of government. It refers to the right of people to determine and change constitutional order and ensure the protection of human rights.
2. Equality of citizenship
This means equality of all people before the law, equal responsibility for any committed offense and the right to equal protection before court. Equality is guaranteed for all citizens: there can be no privileges or restrictions on the grounds of race, color, political beliefs, religious or other convictions, ethnic or social origin, property status, residence, linguistic or other grounds. The most important aspect is the equality of rights and freedoms of men and women who have the same opportunities for their implementation.
3. Selectivity of state bodies
This implies formation of authorities and local government through the people's will. It ensures their replaceability, control and equal opportunity to exercise electoral rights for everybody. In a democratic state, the same people should not permanently occupy positions in government bodies for a long time: this causes distrust of citizens and leads to a loss of legitimacy of these bodies.
4. Separation of powers
This means interdependence and mutual restrictions are imposed on different branches of power: legislative, executive, judicial. It serves as an obstacle to the transformation of power into a means of suppressing freedom and equality;
5. Decision-making by the will of the majority with the mandatory observance of the rights of the minority
This feature means combination of the will of the majority with guarantees of the rights of the individual who act as a part of minority - ethnic, religious or political. It also means the absence of discrimination, suppression of rights of an individual who is not a part of the majority in decision-making activities;.
It refers to the diversity of social phenomena, broadening of the range of political choice, leading not only pluralism of opinions, but also political pluralism, the plurality of parties, public associations, etc. With various professions and charters acting within the framework of the constitution, democracy is possible when it is based on the principle of pluralism, but not all pluralism is necessarily democratic. Only when in conjunction with other principles does pluralism assume universal significance for modern democracy.
Types of democracy
It is typical for some countries in which ancient traditions play a significant role. This is a form of government that can be found in the UK.
It is based on that populist means created by state rulers.
Its characteristic feature is the presence of a large number of political centers that can make decisions. That is, the power is dispersed.
It is still being developed, but its main goal is to reject the majority principle. Such a form of government must exist on mutual partnership, agreement, and compromise.
Functions of democracy
• Organizational and political functions
They include A nation’s self-government as a source of state power and presence of organizational links between democracy players: government bodies, state organizations, public associations, trade unions;
• Regulatory-compromise function
Provision of pluralism in the activities of democracy subjects in the civilized framework of cooperation and compromise, concentration and consolidation of different political forces around the interests of civil society and state;
• Social-stimulating function
It ensures optimal service of state for society, stimulating, accounting and usage of public opinion and citizens' activity (consultative referendums, mandates, letters, applications) in the development and adoption of government decisions;
Formation of public authorities and local self-government bodies by democratic means (competition, elections);
Ensuring the activities of state bodies within their competence in accordance with the requirements of regulatory legal acts;
Provision of security, honor, and dignity by state bodies.
So, now you are aware of the main features of Democracy, its types, and functions. The most important thing to remember is the equality for every person and ability to choose your country ruler.