In a democratic form of government the ultimate power lies in the hands of the people and they play a very important role in the governing process. It is a government which is based on the consent of the people, while a dictatorial government is a government by one man or a group of persons who acquire power either through force or by force and consent both. In a dictatorship, power is exercised in an arbitrary manner.
In a democratic government, people elect their representatives and every person enjoys equal political rights; in a dictatorial form of government the head of the state is not elected.
In a democracy people enjoy rights and liberties. These are guaranteed in the constitution. But in a dictatorial form of government there is absolute denial of civil liberties and people are denied equal rights.
In a democratic government people can freely discuss the policies of the government. They can criticize the government for its lapses. But in a dictatorship, the dictator decides and implements his policies arbitrarily and dissensions and criticisms are not tolerated.
In a democratic government people have the power to change the government through the ballot, but a dictator rules the country by force and sustains his positions through force. Only a revolutionary upheaval may lead to a change in a dictatorship.
In a democracy, there is an opposition party in the legislature which checks the passing of any arbitrary legislation, while in a dictatorship the dictator is the law maker, law implementer and law adjudicator.