Democracy cannot be taken for granted and it should not be reduced to the ability for people to be able to vote. Healthy democracies require transparency, accessibility and limited terms of those in power, to counteract greed and corruption that follow mankind.
Democracy is a governing form where the power arise from the people. There are different models of democracy, but many of us might only refer democracy to representative democracy.
The two current types of democracy of today are direct and representative. In a direct democracy, the people directly deliberate and decide on legislation. In a representative democracy, the people elect representatives to deliberate and decide on legislation, such as in parliamentary or presidential democracy.
Healthy representative democracies require that those whom have been chosen to represent the people are accessible by the locals whom they represent. Good representatives are guided by the well-being and interests of the people whom they represent.
A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory followership, and an educated, morally grounded leadership.
Greed is a sin that follows mankind. To be able to maintain healthy democracies the personal greed of the representatives have to be offset. Transparency is the most important tool to keep greed and corruption in control.
Greed and hunger for power are always lurking in the background of healthy democracies and will try to push it into authoritarianism.
It is a challenge to represent people in an healthy democracy. Representatives that represent their own interests instead of the interest of people, will try to seal themselves off from the people they are supposed to represent. The barrier usually grows with the length of time the representatives have held their positions. By replacing the representatives regularly with new people, so they can only hold the position for a limited time period, then one has counteracted one force that tend to push a healthy democracy into authoritarianism.
Democracy is essentially anti-authoritarian--that is, it not only demands the right but imposes the responsibility of thinking for ourselves.
The “trademark” of authoritarian governed communities is single power holder or a small self proclaimed elite (Junta) paired with lack of transparency.
When those in power think they are the community, then we have moved to totalitarianism.
Totalitarianism is authoritarianism with added layers that restricts individual opposition and exercises an extremely high degree of control.