Any of a number of forms of government
which at their core have some degree of decision-making performed by a system of voting. Exactly who can vote (franchisement
) often varies quite widely, and has historically in many countries been divided along lines of age, gender, religion, economic status, class, race, ethnic group, language, nationality, and citizenship. The degree of participation can also vary. A direct democracy
, for example, would in principle have all decisions made by popular vote. Most democratic nations use some form of representative democracy
, whereby voters designate certain people or groups to make decisions for them.
Though both the United States and the United Kingdom have democratic elements, their political systems are quite different.