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There are many definitions of democracy but the "western" view of democracy is rule by mathe majority combined with some basic protections for the rights of minorities.

most democracies are 'representative democracies whereby the population vote forpoliticians who then pass laws and make decisions on their behalf. Direct democracy refers to direct rule by the people which exists rarely in.

In the west minoroties are protected by a package of protections such as cnstitionsal rights, liberties and other human rights. Many rights contaied in the United Nation Universal Declation of Human Rights have been incorporated in written or unwritten national or state constitutions, such as due process rights, rights against discrimination etc (See UNUDHR )

According to F A Hayek "Democratic government has worked succesffully, where, and so long as, the functions of governments were, by a widely accepted creed, restricted to fields where agreement among a majority could be achieved by free discussion; andit is the great merit of the liberal creed that id reduced the range of subjects on which agreement was necessary to one on which it was likely to exist in a society of freemen".


Grayling, A.C. (2009) Ideas that Matter, A Personal Guide For the 21st Century, London: Orion Books Ltd

Hayek, F.A.(1944) The Road to Serfdom, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press