The term democracy is derived from the two Greek words “demos” (people) and “kratio” (rule or power). It can therefore be defined as a form of government where there is an influence by the people or their elected representative in the decision making processes which affect the nation/state hence their lives. There are two basic forms of democracy, direct democracy and liberal representative democracy (used in the Caribbean).
Direct democracy is seen as the one and only true form of democracy, it removes the many distinctions found between the government and the governed as well as those between the state and the civil society. In addition, it allows the uncontrolled and continuous involvement of the masses in the activities of the government. This form of democracy has never been achieved in any Caribbean nation since it is seen as being very unrealistic. It also goes against the Functionalist view that there is a need for one group of persons to rule over another, in order to obtain equilibrium (balance) within society.
The second form of democracy however is more realistic and can be readily applied to the Caribbean social and political systems. This indirect form of democracy has three dimensions:
• The m
The economic dimension holds the view that it is the individual"tms right to own or inherit property in order to gain finance, also to produce, buy and sell goods and services. Adam Smith argued that the state"tms role in such affairs and the economy would govern itself using the characteristics of free trade and competition. The following table is an example of this:E. With proportional presentation seats are allocated by dividing the amount of votes received by any given party by the total number of votes cast. oral dimension which recognizes the worth of each individual and their right to life, personal freedoms and civil and social liberties. This individual is chosen by way of votes utilizing the two democratic electoral systems used in the Caribbean region, these are First-Past-the-Post and Proportional Representation. The party who wins the most seats wins the election, it is important to note that the party with the most seats may not be the one with the most overall votes. Also some of the things written in the parties manifestoes do not always come to past. This to some extent can be seen as a fair form of democracy, however it is clearly seen when looking at most Caribbean societies that it does not exist since the participation of the masses in the tasks of the government are brief and infrequent. Another disadvantage of this electoral system is that third parties and independent candidates don"tmt stand a chance of surviving since there is a lack of representation by them not only in parliament but in any of the constituencies (they therefore have no seat). This goes to show that as far as real democracy goes the people have limited say in the election results even though they are given the right to vote. In most cases during the parliamentary representative"tms time in office, the needs of some members of society mainly the poor and under-privileged are sometimes neglected or some of the promises made by members of the winning party are not fulfilled. First-past-the-post is the electoral system used in all the Caribbean nations except Guyana, it is argued that it is non-democratic since does not coincide with the idea of majority rule.