Democratic states must have regular and fair elections that have a meaningful impact on the political system and agenda
There is some competiton for power and a real choice betwen individuals, groups and parties in elections, as to offer some alternative and therefore accontability.
Popular franchise is given to a wide demographic in a democracy, and in many cases this is percieved to be the adult population with no exclusion of any groups.
The existence of diverse centres of economic and political power, intertwined with choice between political parties and pressure groups .
Liberalism requires a limited government that does not interene with more than what is neccesary and therefore place certain checks and limitations to prevent this and secure essential liberties.
The important existence of freedoms, such as freedom of speech, are established by codifing it into law.
Government is non secretive and actions are clear to citizens. it is seen to be fair and acountable
the judicial system has to be an impartial and independent legal sytem based on equality of access to law.
Newspapers and broadcasters being allowed to operate free of Governmental pressure. They can publish with little restriiction.
Rule of Law
The Rule of Law, which requires total obigation from its citizens, also sees the Government be bound to it, and therefore the Government has a legal restriction to it.