What is Democracy?

Democracy is a system of government, where the whole population gets to vote for representatives that will represent their area. The area could be from a city, to a whole country. In different countries  such as Ancient Greece, only citizens that are men are allowed to vote for representatives for their country. Equality and freedom have both been identified as characteristics for democracy, since Ancient times. In many countries, democracy is the most popular form of government. 

 What does Democracy benefit? (Ancient Greece) 

In Ancient Greece, democracy helped to pick a leader among the citizens. For the reason that there was democracy, people couldn't just be a leader, they had to be elected by the citizens first. In Ancient Greece, democracy was the reason why they had no dictator or tyrant. People in Ancient Greece believed that citizens should choose rulers, and vote on matters themselves. Anyone could propose a new law in Ancient Greece.                                                                                                                      

What is the process of Democracy? (Ancient Greece)

 There was two types of democracy in Ancient Athens: Assembly & Council. The Assembly was made of male citizens, which made the laws of the land. They attended most meetings about making new laws. The Assembly could exile unpopular or dishonest leaders. The Assembly was made up of six thousand citizens. If there weren't exactly 6000 citizens, the police would round up more people. The police would use a rope dipped in red paint to indicate which men did not attend. The red paint would be dragged against the man's clothes. The Council was made up of five hundred citizens, chosen every year by lot names drawn from all Athenian citizens. Members of the Council serve for one year; they prepare laws for the Assembly to consider. 

Who can vote in Ancient Greece? 

In Ancient Greece, only citizens could vote. Children & slaves were not considered citizens, so they could not vote. All citizens have to take part in government. In old times, they believed all Greek men, rich or poor, had the right to vote. Women were citizens, but without political rights, so they could not vote. Slaves were not considered to be citizens, so they had only some basic rights. 

Why is democracy important in Ancient Greece? 

Democracy in Ancient Greece is a fair way of choosing a leader. It gives a chance for poor men to lead in the government. All men had the right to speak for themselves, be fairly treated, take part in the decisions, and vote. Democracy gave the Greek men these rights. It can cause fewer arguments about the laws being made in Ancient Greece. It prevented Ancient Greece from having any bad leaders that would not help the people in any way.

Who can vote in Canada? 

In Canada, it is too large for everyone to have a direct voice in government decisions; instead we elect representatives to speak on behalf of us. For example, we have city councillors. Instead of an Assembly & Council, we have a lead/head Prime Minister for all of  Canada. In addition, for every province we have Premiers. People of ages 18 and over can vote for their representatives. You must also be a registered Canadian citizen to vote.

How is democracy used in our world today?

Today, democracy prevents people for just becoming leader of the people, just because of their family history. Democracy also prevents there from being any dictators. It gives citizens the freedom to vote for who they want to be the leader of their province and/or country. It lets us vote for people who can represent us in a respectful way.

Extra Facts: 
  • Athenian citizens were expected to serve as jurors in court, which has 200 to 400 members.
  • In Ancient Greece, there were no judges or lawyers.
  • If at least 6000 citizens voted  to remove a citizen from office, he would be sent out of the city for 10 years.
  • In Ancient Greece, citizens argue on their own cases.