Meaning of Democracy
DEMOCRACY is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
Abraham Lincoln defined Democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
The word democracy emanated from two Greek words: DEMO (people) and KRATIA (Government)
Types of democracy
There are two types of Democracy. Direct Democracy and Indirect Democracy
- Direct Democracy: This is a system of government whereby everyone is involved in the affairs of the country.
- Indirect Democracy: This is a system of government where citizens choose their representatives to rule on their behalf. This is also called representative democracy. This is the system of government being practised in Nigeria at present.
Characteristics of Democracy
1. Regular and periodic elections: Democracy gives room for periodic elections so as to elect new leaders.
2. Fundamental human right: Democracy guarantees and respects the human right as stated in the constitution.
3. Party system: Democracy allows different political party system to compete for power during election.
4. Freedom of the press: Under democratic system of government, all the media houses are free to express their opinions and feelings through writing or any means.
5. The judicial arm of government is independent and free of other arms of government
6. Rule of law: there is equality before the law; no one is above the law under democratic system of government.