Characteristics of Democracy
a. Democracy is a set of principles and practices that protect human freedom.
b. Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule, along with individual and minority rights.
c. Democracies as a system guard against all-powerful central governments and it decentralizes government to regional and local levels. The right of the people to demand the Government they elected and the duty of the Government to be accessible and responsive to their needs and demands is the main function.
d. One of the primary functions of Democracies is to protect such basic Human Rights i) Equality before Law, ii) Equal Protection before Law iii) Freedom of Speech, iv) Freedom of Religion; vii) Right to organize and participate fully in the political, economic, and cultural life of society.
e. Democracies conduct regular free and fair elections open to all citizens.
f. Democracy subjects governments to the Rule of Law and it ensures that all citizens receive equal protection under the law and that their rights are protected by the Legal-constitutional system.
g. Democracies are diverse political systems, reflecting each nation’s unique political, social, and cultural life.
h. Democracy ensures the citizens to participate in the political system and it protects their rights and freedoms.
i. Democratic societies are committed to the values of tolerance, cooperation, and consensus.
j. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”
k. Democracy is a system of government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by all citizens, directly or through their freely elected representatives.
Democracy underlines the Principle of Rule by the people. It ensures a form of government in which all the citizens of a nation determine public policy, the laws, and the actions of their state together either in a Direct Democracy or by Representative Democracy. Democracy ensures that all citizens have an equal opportunity to express their opinion. Democracy is generally defined as “government by the people; that form of government in which the sovereign power resides in the people as a whole, and is exercised either directly by them or by officers elected by them.”