Characteristics Of Democracy

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Throughout time, the concept of “democracy” has been misunderstood and misused by the majority of governments around the world. In the Ecuadorian case, despite suffering innumerable dictatorships in command of several presidents such as José Maria Velasco Ibarra or Guillermo Rodríguez Lara, democratic ideas have prevailed and continue to evolve through the history and through the time. In fact, nowadays democracy is the principal political system in this country, in which the notion of popular sovereignty can be recognized. However, it is not clear what kind of democracy the Republic of Ecuador has. So, in order to clarify what was said before, it will be taken into consideration: (1) the definition of democracy according to three important authors, (2) the principal characteristics of a democracy and the two main types of democracy: (3) direct and (4) representative.

First of all, it is important to know the definition of democracy and its aspects. According to Peter Joyce (2005), the democratic government was initiated in the Greek city state of Athens in the fifth century B.C., so as a consequence, the word ‘democracy’ derived from two Greek words, demos (meaning ‘people’) and kratos (meaning ‘power’) , which means ‘government by the people’. Secondly, Giovanni Sartori (1997), a Political Science Researcher states that ‘democracy’ is an abbreviation that means Liberal Democracy. He distinguishes three aspects: democracy as a principle of legitimacy (power not derives
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