What are the Five Features of Democracy?
The five main characteristics of democracy are as under:
(i) Elected representative:
In democracy representatives elected by the people make laws and frame policies of the government.
(ii) Elections are held to elect the representatives:
All adult citizens have the right to participate (vote) in .the elections. Elections should be free and fair and must be held at regular intervals. Citizens who have reached a certain age (in India, it is 25 years for election to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies) are allowed to contest elections.
(iii) Civil liberties:
An important characteristic of democracy is that it grants top civil liberties to the citizens. They enjoy freedoms of speech, expression, and information. Citizens have a right to form, join or quit an association. It includes the right to form political party.
(iv) Rule of law:
Another characteristic of democracy is that it ensures rule of law. Law is supreme and all the citizens are equal in the eyes of law. No one is above law.
(v) Independent judiciary:
Independence of Judiciary is an essential characteristic of democracy. Judiciary must be free from any control of the executive or the legislature. Judges must be honest and should deliver justice impartially.
(vi) Organised opposition party:
Another important characteristic of democracy is the presence of organised opposition party or parties in the state. Majority party forms the government and party with a minority in the legislature forms the opposition party.
The opposition party keeps an eye on the policies and working of the government. By criticising the wrong policies of the government, it forces the government to make laws and frame policies for the welfare of the people. It prevents the government from being dictatorial.