democracy is a society ruled by it's members, who equally share in the power of decision, through balloting. abraham lincoln summarized this as
"government of the people, by the people, for the people."
there is very little democracy in the world today, although the word is in constant use. even north korea manages to work 'democratic' into it's title, while parliamentary republics and monarchies maintain the rule of the politician's guild by newspeak. they diseducate the electorate by continual references to 'our democracy' while assuring them that nation management is too hard to be accessible to anyone but politicians. well, they would say that, wouldn't they?
in fact, real democracy is not impossible. california, for example, comes very close to democracy. so do about half of the united states, and switzerland.
in a modern state, there are three features that make a democracy:
1/ direct election of officers of state
2/ public execution of state activity
3/ primacy of citizen initiative legislation
all are necessary, and in spite of the self-interested protestations of politicians, all are efficient and effective functions of state management.