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Liberal democracy is a form of government characterized by free and open society that protects the rights of the individual or minorities, has the rule of law well established and codified political freedom in a representative government.
Liberal Democracy Characterizations
Liberal democracies take several forms, usually characterized by a governmental system founded on the separation of powers. Liberal democracies include:
- Constitutional republics,
- Constitutional Monarchies
Universal suffrage is generally a feature of all liberal democracies, granting the right to vote to all adult citizens. These governments have a written constitution that spells out the power of the various branches of government, providing systems of checks and balances and an independent judiciary in order to prevent abuses.
Liberal Democracy and Freedom
Certain limits on freedom are imposed in liberal democracies, such as anti-terrorism legislation, designed to protect the rights of the majority. These curbs are generally proposed as necessary for the preservation of freedom. The idea of liberal democracy first emerged during the Enlightenment, when philosophers argued that reason should rule. The United States was the first nation to attempt to put such notions into practice.