representative democracy

representative democracy
   A form of government in which citizens elect people to rule on their behalf, representative democracy is more attuned to the needs of larger and more complex societies than direct democracy, for sheer numbers make the direct and continuous participation of citizens in government impossible. Self-government has evolved into elected government. Freely elected representatives of the people make decisions subject to popular control, so that in effect the few govern on behalf of the many. The majority are vote-casters every few years at election time, but in between have little say in what goes on. Modern democracies are representative in form, even semi-democracies having representative institutions.
   Many can be described too as a liberal democracy.
   Further reading: M. Cole, Democracy, Edinburgh University Press, 2006

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

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