The following features define a typical form of representative democracy.
- single-member district, the candidate who wins the largest number of votes wins a seat, assuming there are at least two candidates for a single position. (There are other ways to decide the winner. See the Ballotpedia page on electoral systems.)
- congress, legislature, or parliament.
- the president is elected by the citizens indirectly through an Electoral College.
- prime minister nominated by the controlling party or party coalition in the parliament.
Most modern, mature representative democracies have features that look like these, with some deviations or innovations here and there.
You can check out other forms of democracy in our short course “America: Republic or Democracy.”« Back to Glossary Index