Democracy which derives from the Greek word “demos,” meaning “people,” is defined basically, as government in which the supreme power is vested in the people.
Accordingly, democracy is the government of the people, and of the people at large.
In some forms, democracy can be exercised directly by the people; in large societies, it is by the people through their elected representatives. Or, in the memorable phrase of President Abraham Lincoln,
democracy is government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
The core of a democratic State is that power is placed in the hands of the masses.
In order to constitute a democracy, therefore, it is necessary that people should be either formally or substantially possessed of the supreme power, not sharing it with any other party independent of themselves.
Thus, the people are charged with the supreme power to formulate the government by electing noble, wise, and skilled statesmen to represent them. And is therefore incumbent upon these elected officials (in the form of elections) to engage in fixing the policies and conducting all governmental affairs on behalf of the people.
Everyone in democratic society is entitled to equal opportunity, with the same freedom of expression, as well as the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.
In layman’s terms, in the eye of the law, everyone is equal and should be given the same treatment with no partiality or special favors given to anyone over another.
Additionally, no one (including kids) should be denied their rights due to heritage, culture, ethnicity, or an inability to speak the English language.
The most fundamental right provided by democracy, however, is the right to vote.
It is the ultimate process whereby a citizen can exercise their choice as to who is most suitable to be elected to represent them in government. And so, this right, which was provided by the Founding Fathers, should never be denied.
The Principles of Democracy
- Democracy is a universally recognized ideal as well as a goal, which is based on common values shared by peoples throughout the world community irrespective of cultural, political, social and economic differences.
- Democracy is both an ideal to be pursued and a mode of government to be applied according to modalities which reflect the diversity of experiences and cultural particularities without derogating from internationally recognized principles, norms and standards. a variety of political, social, economic and cultural factors.
- As an ideal, democracy aims essentially to preserve and promote the dignity and fundamental rights of the individual, to achieve social justice, foster the economic and social development of the community, strengthen the cohesion of society and enhance national tranquility, as well as to create a climate that is favorable for international peace.
- The achievement of democracy presupposes a genuine partnership between men and women in the conduct of the affairs of society in which they work in equality and complementarity, drawing mutual enrichment from their differences.
- A state of democracy ensures that the processes by which power is acceded to, wielded and alternates allow for free political competition and are the product of open, free and nondiscriminatory participation by the people, exercised in accordance with the rule of law, in both letter and spirit.
- Democracy is inseparable from the rights set forth in the international instruments recalled in the preamble. These rights must therefore be applied effectively and their proper exercise must be matched with individual and collective responsibilities.
- Democracy is founded on the primacy of the law and the exercise of human rights. In a democratic State, no one is above the law and all are equal before the law.
- Peace and economic, social and cultural development are both conditions for and fruits of democracy. There is thus independence between peace, development, respect for and observance of the rule of law and human rights.
Democracy is the best and ideal form of government but only for the literate, disciplined, duty conscious, honest and hard working people. For democracy, it is essential that the people of that state should be politically awakened and also very vigilant.