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Democracy? What Is It? What Helps Keep It Equal?

989 words - 4 pages

A democracy is a system of government run by the people, for the people. Having the general publics’ voices heard is a major part in a democratic government, but it isn’t the only part. To make a democratic government work you need to have a sense of community and unity. Many different countries strive to keep their countries democratic. There are three primary roles to a democratic government. The primary roles of a democratic government are to involve the public in policies as much as possible, to allow for broad representation and as a check against corruption of power.
One major role in a democratic government is to involve the public in policies as much as possible. This is shown especially well in California. In California the people themselves can make laws if they have enough people to petition it (Worldbook). If a person or a group of people decide that they want to make an amendment they have to get people to sign a petition. If the group has enough signatures, they can send it to the head of the state and try to turn it into a law. When the new amendment comes in, it has to be approved by the majority of voters (Worldbook). Since Californian people know that they can make a change, it causes them to want to be more involved in making policies. Because of this key part of a democracy, California has been known as a place where your voice can be heard. This way of doing it allows not only for the general public to get involved but it also allows for broad representation.
Broad representation is a key part in keeping a democratic government democratic. Athens is a good example of this. In Ancient Greece around 500 B.C democracy began to develop. The Athenian government was democratic and that form of government worked very well for them (Wordbook). In Athens, they had three different sections of government. The Ekklesia was the general assembly of Athens (Class Notes). The second sector of the Athens government was the Boule. The Boule was a council made up of five hundred men who got together everyday to make decisions (Class Notes). The final sector of the Athens government is the Dikasteria. The Dikasteria is a court of 500 jurors who had the most power in making decisions. The Ekklesia was the major sector that incorporated the general public in policies (Class Notes). Any of the 40,000 eligible men could go to the Ekklesia meetings. Meetings were held 40 times a year, on a hillside in a large auditorium (Class Notes). The Athenian government worked so well because of the fact that they had such broad representation from the Ekklesia. They were able to hear all the opinions of their people. This major part in the government led to the Athens success and growth.
Checking against corruption of power is a primary role in a democratic government. In the U.S they use checks and balances. There are three branches of government, which help prevent...

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