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representative democracy

n. A policy under the rule of people acting on the behalf of and, to a lesser extent, in the interests of the voting blocks by which they were elected.

Representative democracy

Countries designated "electoral democracies" in Freedom House's 2015 survey "Freedom in the World", covering the year 2014.


Representative democracy (also indirect democracy, representative republic, or psephocracy) is a variety of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy. All modern Western-style democracies are types of representative democracies; for example, the United Kingdom is a crowned republic and Ireland is a parliamentary republic.

Representative democracy is often presented as the only form of democracy possible in mass societies. It arguably allows for efficient ruling by a sufficiently small number of people on behalf of the larger number. Representative democracy has been conceptually associated with and historically instantiated by the political system known as "representative government," which was born in the 18th century with the French and American revolutions. It is a system in which people elect their lawmakers (representatives), who are then held accountable to them for their activity within government.

It is an element of both the parliamentary system or presidential system of government and is typically used in a lower chamber such as the House of Commons (UK) or Dáil Éireann (Ireland), and may be curtailed by constitutional constraints such as an upper chamber. It has been described by some political theorists including Robert A Dahl, Gregory Houston and Ian Liebenberg as polyarchy. In it the power is in the hands of the elected representatives who are elected by the people in elections.

Usage examples of "representative democracy".

Tradition held that Thalisar had brokered peace among the clans there, and later died on that very same spot, leaving her people in the care of the representative democracy she’.

And filtering those passions is what a representative democracy is all about.

By establishing a representative democracy, the people will gain an efficient administration and a social safety valve, both of which are necessary if the next ship from Mingulay isn't to find this place a ghost town or a heap of ruins.

Politically, Haven was a representative democracy with a strong and politically active middle class, and its economic policy enshrined the principles of liberal capitalism with minimal government interference.

The representative democracy of the United States has rarely decided national issues by referendum.

Piedro has explained your system of representative democracy to me, and it seems only a way for the decisions to be placed in the hands of those unfit to make them.

They clung to a ghost of representative democracy while the colonies were trying Ordeal-Selectivism.

Freedom of religion, representative democracy, religious and ethnic tolerance, equality of the sexes, rule of law, free speech—.

But at present, though the outer forms of a representative democracy, as you would call it, may vet remain, the reality is otherwise.