Also called indirect democracy, it is an indirect, mediated and limited. It operates through the ability of representatives to speak for, or ack on behalf of the people in institutions such as Parliament. There are two main types of representative:
- Delegate representatives - they supress their own feelings, only to act on the majority view of their electorate
- Responsible representatives - they act on their own judgement on behalf of the people who elected them e.g. MPs in Britain or MEPs.
At the heart of representative democracy there is a process to through which representatives are chosen and removed, usually through elections. The key principles of representative democracy are:
- Indirect - the public don't exercise power themselves, they choose someone on their behalf
- Mediated - people linked to government through representative institutions
- Limited - it's infrequent and brief, restricted to voting every few years