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Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

noun (democracies)
1. a form of government in which the people govern themselves or elect representatives to govern them.
2. a country, state or other body with such a form of government.

[16c: from French démocratie, from Greek demos people + kratos strength.]

Democratic government requires popular control over public decisions and decision makers, and an equality of respect and the right to be heard between citizens in the exercise of that control. A constitutional democracy imposes codified legal limits on the powers of the government. A separation of powers, or an arrangement of checks and balances, exists between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. As an organizing principle, constitutional democracy designates a large political community and defines it as inclusive, open, and free. Nations governed by such a democracy are bound by widely accepted guidelines through what is usually a written public consensus. The shared core values include civil liberties, pluralism, tolerance, and wide access to expression in all forms of the media. Sometimes entrepreneurial markets and social rights are also embraced. Constitutional democracy is the most sensible count...    Continue Reading

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