Types of Democracy

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  • Types of Democracy
    • Democracy
      • Two Core Principles
        • Political participation
          • Political decisions are made by the people
        • Political equality
          • Each citizen has a free and equal opportunity to influence political decisions
      • Two Key Models
        • Direct democracy
          • The people make political decisions
          • Popular participation
        • Representative democracy
          • The people choose who will make their decisions
          • Popular control
    • Direct Democracy
      • Definition
        • Direct, unmediated and continuous participation of citizens
          • No distinction between the government and the people
      • Key Features
        • Direct
          • The people make policy decisions
        • Unmediated
          • The people are the government
        • Continous
          • People engaged in politics on a regular and ongoing basis
      • Historical Examples
        • Ancient Athens
          • Popular mass meetings
          • The citizens of Athens were tiny proportion of inhabitants
            • No women
            • No immigrants
            • Slaves
          • Unworkable in modern times
          • Sovereign body was the Assembly
            • Met 40 times a year
            • Male citizens over 20
            • Issues debated and decieded
              • Public order
              • Taxation
              • Foreign policy
              • Military affairs
            • Quorum of 6,000 people
          • Full-time officials on a rota
            • Resembled citizens
            • Short terms
          • Council of 500 citizens were the executive of the assembly
            • President of the Committee held office for a single day and only once in their lives
        • Paris Commune 1871
        • Township meetings in New England USA
        • Communal assemblies in Swiss
      • Today
        • Supplements representative democracy
        • Strengthens popular participation
        • Referendums
        • Proposals for citizens' juries, electronic or digital democracy
      • Benefits of Direct Democracy
        • Genuine democracy
          • People obey laws they made
          • Freedom
        • Personal development
          • Better informed and knowledgeable citizens
          • Encourage interest in politics
            • How it should and shouldn't work
        • End of professional politics
          • Reduces or removes professional politicians
            • Politicians distort public opinion
        • Legitimate governement
          • People accept decisions they've made
            • Responsibility for their own decisions
      • Negatives of Direct Democracy
        • Only achievable in small communities
        • Politics is the job for all citizens
          • Restricts their ability to carry out other duties and activities
    • Representative Democracy
      • Definition
        • Representatives speak and act on the behalf of the people
          • Representatives can be chosen and removed
            • Regular and popular elections
            • Politicians must serve the people to win or retain power
        • Based on the power electoral process gives
          • Winners of elections represent the people
      • Key Features
        • Indirect
          • People don't exercise power themselves
        • Mediated
          • People kinked through representative institutions
        • Limited
          • Voting every few years
      • Key Rules
        • Free, fair and regular elections
          • Voters can express opinion
        • Universal suffrage
        • Party and candidate competition
          • Voters have a choice
      • Benefits of Representative Democracy
        • Practicable democracy
          • Can work in large modern societies
        • Government by experts
          • Politicians have better education and expertise
        • Division of labour in politics
          • Ordinary citizens are relieved of decision making
        • Political stability
          • Distances citizens from politics
          • Certain level of apathy is helpful
      • Negatives of Representative Democracy
        • There is a gulf between government and the people
        • Places too much faith in politicians
          • Distort public opinion by imposing their own views
    • Liberal Democracy
      • Definition
        • Representative democracy plus limited government
        • Balances the need for democracy against freedom
      • Key Forms
        • Constitutional democracy
          • Upholds freedom and  minority rights
        • Majoritarian democracy
          • Majority view takes priority over minority
            • The majority speaks for everyone

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