The concept of “democracy” means the power of the people. The socio-political phenomenon “democracy” is wider than the power of the people. Not only “the power of the people” as such, but also the social and political system is connected with the notion of democracy. Democracy is often understood as a form of organization of the ruling state, public and legitimate power.
This system has a kind of regime and provides the following conditions:
- a respectful, tolerant attitude towards the opinions of the minority;
- equality of citizens regardless of nationality, religion;
- recognition in society of the broad natural, political and social rights enshrined in the law guaranteeing their implementation;
- the election and accountability of government bodies and officials to their constituents;
- publicity in government activities.
Direct democracy is a type of democracy in which citizens independently and directly participate in the preparation, discussion and adoption of socially and politically significant decisions. At the same time direct democracy is most effective in small social groups, and therefore, the peak of its spread occurred during the heyday of the ancient states of politics.
However, it would be wrong to assert the inapplicability of direct democracy in the conditions of modern states, since at present, the mechanisms of direct democracy are actively used in the framework of local self-government, for example, through general assembly, citizens’ gathering, holding public hearings on local issues, etc.
There are several features to characterize direct democracy:
- ownership by the people of inalienable and non-transferable powers, where the people are the main subject of power;
- the people’s assembly – a legitimate authority elected by the people, which makes public-power decisions on socially and locally significant issues;
- decisions are made by a majority;
- the division of people’s power into legislative, executive and judicial powers.