Characteristics of Democracy
For a common man democracy means “rule by the people”. All the citizens of the country vote for the candidates who form the government. Every citizen is equal in front of the law and has equal rights and freedoms in the country. It is not just a form of government. It is a form of society in which all the material resources are owned collectively by society. All the resources are widely and evenly distributed.
There are three distinct aspects or characteristics of democracy:
1. Political Aspect.
Political democracy means the political equality of the citizens. It means government by the people. Everybody has the right to vote at the time of elections and choose their representatives who would form the govern¬ment. This means everybody is politically equal before the law of the country. Democracy as = form of government has the following features:
(a) Elections should be held regularly and there should be more than one party in elections.
(b) Elections should be held on the basis s universal adult franchise which means that every adult member has the right to vote.
(c) There should be freedom of speech, r press, and assembly. This means that mass media like radio and television are free from the government so that people can express their opinions independently.
(d) The legislature, executive, and the judiciary should be independent of each other and should keep a check on the other organ of the government.
2. Social Aspect. Social democracy means that there is equality and unity in society. Everyone should have equal access to resources of the society. There should not be any discrimination on the basis of caste, race, or religion. In such a set-up no religious community is given any preference over religions or communities.
3. Economic Aspect. Economic democracy means that every member enjoys more or less equal economic status. This means that should not be large gaps between the rich-poor.
A society should not have a small very rich class and a large poor class. The income is evenly distributed among the people. It also means that the government undertakes extensive welfare schemes and achieves a universal literacy rate.