10 characteristics of democracy

Democracy is a system of government in which political power is exercised by the people. This system is based on citizen participation, respect for human rights, and equal opportunities for all citizens. Democracy has been considered the most fair and equitable political system, since it allows decisions that affect society to be made in a collective and representative manner.

Main characteristics of democracy

  1. Free and fair elections: In a democracy, citizens have the right to elect their representatives through transparent and uncoerced elections.
  2. Separation of powers: Power is divided into different branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) to avoid concentration of authority in a single entity.
  3. Rule of law: All citizens, including rulers, are subject to the laws.
  4. Citizen participation: Citizens have the right and responsibility to participate in the political life of their country, whether by voting, demonstrating or running for public office.
  5. Freedom of expression: Democracy guarantees the right to freedom of expression, press and association, allowing citizens to express their opinions without fear of reprisals.

  6. Human rights: Democracy protects the fundamental rights of individuals, such as freedom of thought, equality before the law and human dignity.
  7. Political pluralism: Democracy encourages the existence of different political parties and organizations, allowing diversity of opinions and approaches.
  8. Accountability: Government leaders must be responsible to citizens, presenting reports on their management and being subject to public scrutiny.
  9. Transparency: Government decisions and actions must be accessible and understandable to the population, guaranteeing accountability and avoiding corruption.
  10. Tolerance and respect: Democracy promotes respect for diversity, tolerance and dialogue between different sectors of society.

Table on Democracy in different countries

CountryDemocracy level
USAConsolidated democracy
BrazilDemocracy in transition
GermanyAdvanced democracy
RussiaCompetitive authoritarianism

Frequently Asked Questions about Democracy

What is democracy?

Democracy is a system of government in which the people participate in decision-making through free and fair elections.

What are the types of democracy?

There are several types of democracy, such as direct, representative, parliamentary, presidential, among others.

How are human rights protected in a democracy?

Human rights are protected through laws, institutions and control mechanisms that ensure compliance and respect by rulers and society in general.

Is democracy perfect?

No, democracy has its flaws and challenges, but it is considered the most equitable and fair system for making political decisions.

What role do the media play in democracy?

The media play a fundamental role in democracy, since they inform and monitor the actions of the government, promoting public debate and transparency.

How is citizen participation in democracy promoted?

Citizen participation is promoted through mechanisms such as voting, popular consultation, the organization of social movements, among others.

What dangers does democracy face?

Democracy faces dangers such as populism, corruption, authoritarianism, inequality and citizen apathy.

What is the importance of education in democracy?

Education is fundamental for democracy, since it promotes critical thinking, informed participation and respect for citizens' rights and duties.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of democracy, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-democracy/ (Consultado el: 29-11-2023)

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