What is Democracy?
Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people, a form of government where supreme power is vested in the people of a state and exercised directly by them or by legislators elected by them under universal suffrage within an electoral system where the resultant composition of the legislature reflects the proportions of votes cast by the people for their legislators.
Yet, democracies are characterised by much more than electoral systems, important though they are. It is usual to place equal emphasis on three major constructs, although there are others. They are: universal suffrage and a representative electoral system, the Rule of Law, and the peaceful transition of power from one government to another. We should add to this the principle of the separation of powers, where the three main organs of state, the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary, are required to function independently of each other (for the avoidance of corruption). Complementing this are the major freedoms we take for granted such as freedom of expression and a free press. Historians usually trace the origins of democratic systems to ancient Greece.
In the United Kingdom, all of the constructs required for democracy are present – except one.