What do you Mean by Representative Democracy?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Representative democracy refers to a democratic system in which people choose their representatives through an election process and indirectly participate in decision-making. Thus, It is also known as indirect democracy. The elected representatives of the people meet and make decisions for the people. India (a federal parliamentary republic) functions as a representative democracy.

Representative Democracy

About 60% of the world’s countries operate as representative democracies, including France (unitary state), the UK (constitutional monarchy), the US (democratic republic), and India (federal parliamentary republic). The pros and cons of representative democracy are as follows:

  • Pros: In a representative democracy, one person represents the needs and wants of a large number of people, thus making it efficient. Along with this, It helps empower subdivisions (regions, districts, or states). Moreover, because of this, people remain aware of the issues affecting their country and the measures required by the representatives to deal with them. This forms the basis for the next elections.
  • Cons: A major disadvantage of representative democracy is that it is not always a credible decision. Sometimes the situation gets worse, and people demand recall elections. In addition, delegates can grow into massive bureaucracies and invite corruption.

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