Democracy

If so much power lies outside the domain or the control of elected governments, it is surely odd to hold that the requirements of democracy are met when government alone is popularly elected and, in principle, accountable. Certainly it does nothing to enhance the reputation of democracy when its application is seen to be so restricted and its outcome so ineffectual. […] If we hold to the idea of democracy as popular power, then it is clear that the concentration of so much power in non-accountable hands, outside the control of elected bodies, is incompatible with democracy. Far from being outdated, this old and broad conception of democracy holds out the only hope of compensating for the weaknesses of elected representative assemblies, dwarfed as they presently are by the bureaucratic and monopolistic structures of power which surround them.

Political democracy itself has not been realized simply by giving every adult person a vote in general and local elections. The principle of equality of political power which is embodied in the possession by each and every citizen of one vote stands in sharp contrast to the blatant inequalities in the distribution of political power in almost every other important respect.

Anthony Arblaster, Democracy (1987).

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