Democracy: Development And 10 Features Of Democracy

Democracy may be defined as a system of government in which the will of the majority of qualified adult citizens prevails. Democracy can also be defined as a majority government elected by the majority of the electorate. Democracy has in another occasion been described as government by the approval of the people being governed.
Democracy provides institution for the expression of the supremacy of the people or popular will on basic issues bordering on socio-political decisions and policy making.
According to the one time American president- Abraham Lincoln:- Democracy is the government of the people by the people and for the people.
Origin And Development Of Democracy
The term ‘democracy’ originated from the Greek word “Demokratia” which means “rule of the people”, where ‘Demo’ means “People” and ‘Kratia’ means “Power” or “rule”. The fusion of the two Greek words demo and kratic gave birth to the word “Democracy”. Democratic system of government therefore started in Ancient Greek City States.
The Development Of Democracy
Four factors gave rise to democracy. They are:
1. Social economic and political conditions.
2. Historical writings of locke and rowseau.
3. Bad government.
4. Imitation.
Types Of Democracy
There are two major types of democracy. Which are:
1. Direct Democracy: This is a type of democracy which refers to an idea of government by which all citizens meet together periodically to discuss issues affecting the community or state.
This is possible in tribes or villages and small states. Direct democracy is seen as a close interaction in which people can continually take an active part. This type of democracy is practised in the Igbo traditional society and Ancient Greek city state of Allies.
2. Indirect Democracy: Indirect democracy also known as representative democracy is the democracy where the qualified adult citizens in a state elect members or representatives into the parliament, who then take decision on their behalf.
Representative democracy is government by means of persons elected to serve the interest of others. This is the type of democracy adopted in modern times due to population increase.
10 Features Of Democracy
They features of democracy are:
1. Political Liberty: Equal political right to vote and be voted for in an election.
2. Periodic Elections: Elections are held from time to time to elect the leaders and representatives.
3. Political Parties: Existence of organised political parties to form government.
4. Decision Making: Majority rule in the country and the rights of the minority must be recognised in the area of decision making.
5. Provision Of Opportunities: Democracy provides opportunities for an individual to develop his or her personality. It provides access to knowledge and free education, security against unemployment for working condition etc.
6. Rule Of Law: There should be equality of all people before the law. No one is above the law.
7. Supremacy Of The Constitution: The constitution should be supreme and above every other consideration in any political system.
8. Separation Of Powers: There should be the application of the principles of separation of powers whereby powers are decentralised to the organs of government both in functions and in personnels.
9. Fundamental Human Rights: The rights of an individuals should be protected and guaranteed.
10. Independence Of The Judiciary: The judiciary should be free and independent of other organs of government. E.g, The executive and the legislature.

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