The basic definition of democracy is “a form of government where the citizens have the authority to deliberate and determine societal policy, usually through voting.” Specifically, “people” have this power in a democratic society. This form of government is one in which the state or government checks the actions of citizens through the process of election. It is called “democracy” because it is considered to be a form of collectivism.
In contrast, a republic is ruled by a single political party with limited checks and balances and has a more mixed system of governance. Generally speaking, republics share core beliefs and generally are more socially liberal and capitalist than democracy. These values often include strong protection of individual rights as well as protection of traditional institutions such as religion and the family.
Historically, most nations with a democracy tradition have undergone peaceful evolution toward greater freedoms and democracy. As a result of these progressive movements, democracy has become a valuable and viable system of governance. However, it is up to citizens themselves to work to make democracy work within their polities and ensure that it does not degenerate into tyranny. Citizens need to be informed about democracy and need to understand the difference between political freedom and the opposite – the absence of democracy.