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Democracy

Forms of goverment

Democracy, in modern usage, has three senses - all for a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body, and vote directly on each issue, e.g. on the passage of a particular tax law. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a constitutional democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority, usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association. "Rule of the majority" is sometimes referred to as democracy. Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes.

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