By Sue Vander Hook
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The declaration shares some principles with the American Declaration REVOLUTIONS FOR DEMOCRACY Declaration of Rights 49 DEMOCRACY 50 of Independence. It proclaimed certain natural rights to life, liberty, and property. It states that the role of government, which should be carried out by elected representatives, is to protect these rights. The document proclaims, Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. . The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible [above the law] rights of man.
Its major role is to create and pass legislation. The judicial branch consists of a system of courts that interprets and applies the The US Congress, which meets at the Capitol in Washington DC, has checks on the judicial and executive branches’ powers. laws to resolve conflicts or disputes. Each branch limits the others in specific ways: • Legislative checks and balances. The president has the power to veto a bill passed by Congress. However, the bill HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS • Executive checks and balances.
Small the local democratic meeting communities created in Scandinavian countries, is local democratic gatherstill reflected today. The parliaings—called things—in ment of Iceland is called the which free men could Althing; in Norway, it is the discuss issues and existStorting and in Denmark the ing laws. At the end of Folketing. the thirteenth century, communities in rural areas of Switzerland 31 DEMOCRACY 32 established governments much like the democracy of Athens. Every adult male regularly walked to an open-air assembly to cast his vote.
Democracy by Sue Vander Hook