Virtual Kollage: The features of democracy

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The features of democracy

Abraham Lincoln Lincoln Memorial Washingto
THE FEATURES OF DEMOCRACY
Definition
Democracy can be defined as the system of government in which the ultimate power of the state is in the hands of the people, ruling either directly, as it was in the ancient Greek City States, or through their elected representatives, as obtains in present day. The representatives are usually elected periodically.

FEATURES OF DEMOCRACY
Majority Rule
One of the features of liberal-democracy is that it operates under the principle of majority rule. In the taking of major national decisions, the will of the majority is obtained through free and fair elections. Another major conduit for getting the will of the people, especially, in between general elections is a referendum.

Protection of Minority Interests
In spite of the fact that majority rule is practiced, at the same time the interests of the minority are respected and attempts are made to protect those interests. Issues are dispassionately discussed both sides where an attempt is made to arrive at a mid-point.

Preference for bi-partisan or multi-partisanship
A liberal-democratic usually practices a by-party or multi-party system. This allows the parties to operate without any fear of repercussions or reprisals from any quarter

Power Sharing
Under a liberal-democracy, power is not left in the hands of a few people, it is distributed. Power operates on such principles like Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, Rule of Law etc. This is to ensure that the powers of the state are not left in the one individual of group of individual.

Protection of Individual Liberty
In a liberal-democracy, the constitution provides that rights of individual, such as the freedom of association, the right to life, right to own property, etc., are recognized and protected by the state.

Free Press.
A liberal-democracy upholds the freedom of the press. As such, the media is given room to operate and never hijacked by the state apparatus. this rights are not absolute, they must be exercised within a certain limit provided under the laws of the land. Examples of the mass media include radio, television, newspapers and more recently the internet.

Pressure Groups
Under a liberal-democracy, pressure groups are allowed to freely operate without any fear of being victimized. Their main function is to keep the government on its toes and to influence their policies.

Impartial Judiciary
A liberal-democracy also makes room for an impartial judiciary. This is to ensure that when the rights of citizens are trampled upon, they can have a place to seek redress. In Ghana, the commission on human rights and Administrative justice is established by law to protect those whose rights have been abused by government officials in the discharge of their duties.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. Define the term liberal democracy.
    b. Explain five features of liberal democracy.
2. a. What is the meaning of liberal democracy?
    b. Explain five features of liberal democracy.
3. Highlight six characteristics of liberal democracy.

ALSO READ:
The advantages of democracy
The disadvantages of democracy

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