Topic: Democracy


  • Meaning and Characteristics of Democracy
  • Types of Democracy
  • Importance of Democracy
  • Problems of Democracy

Meaning of Democracy

According to Abraham Lincoln, democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

This is the system of government in which people exercise their political power through periodic election of leaders by themselves or their representative.

The word democracy was traceable to ancient Greek . The word DEMO and KRATIA which form democracy means people and government.

Characteristics of Democracy

  1. Regular and periodic election: Democracy give room for periodic election 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: This system of government 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 independence 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.

Types of Democracy

There are two types of Democracy, which are

  1. Direct Democracy: This is the system of government where everybody is involved in governing the country. It is a system whereby all citizens meet together periodically for the purpose of governing the country.
  2. 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 system of government is practiced in Nigeria, Ghana, U.S.A etc.

Importance of Democracy

  • It creates opportunity for everybody in a place to have a say in the government of a state or a nation
  • Everybody has a right to make suggestions
  • Everyone has a right to nominate a person for election
  • There is freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to education

Problems of Democracy


Democratic politicians are elected for a short period of time (4 – 5 years). This election cycle causes them not to think “what is best for the country in the long run” but “what is best in the country in 4 – 5 years so I can claim responsibility and get elected again.” Therefore unpopular solution of long term problems are postponed since it would be unpopular by the voters.

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