Wikipedia defines majoritarian democracy as “democracy based upon majority rule of a society’s citizens” noting that although it is the conventional form of democracy in many countries majoritarian democracy has been criticized as having the inherent danger of becoming a “tyranny of the majority” whereby the majority in society could oppress or exclude minority groups.
Majoritarian democracy vs. consensus democracy
Wikipedia suggests that:
“In contrast to majoritarian democracy and the perceived danger of a tyranny of the majority, consensus democracy was developed in response that emphasizes rule by as many people as possible to make government inclusive, with a majority of support from society merely being a minimal threshold.”
Arend Lijhart, in an article on the Parliament of Australia website (reference below) asserts that:
“In majoritarian, Westminster-style, democracy, power is concentrated in the hands of the majority, and majoritarian democracy has the following institutional characteristics:
- one-party majority cabinets,
- executive dominance over the legislature,
- two-party systems,
- majoritarian and disproportional electoral systems, and
- pluralist interest group systems with free-for-all competition among groups.
“Consensus democracy, in contrast, is characterised by sharing, dispersing, and limiting power instead of concentrating power, and it has the following typical features:
- executive power-sharing in broad multi-party coalitions,
- executive-legislative balance of power,
- multi-party systems,
- proportional representation (PR), and
- a coordinated, “corporatist” interest group system aimed at compromise and concertation.
Wikipedia, majoritarian democracy, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majoritarian_democracy, accessed 25 August 2018.
Arend Lijphart, Australian Democracy: Modifying Majoritarianism, at https://www.aph.gov.au/~/~/link.aspx?_id=1C133917453F40C48CF151FB536A943E&_z=z, accessed 25 August 2018.
Atlas topic, subject, and course
Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified by on 25 August 2018.
Image: The Companion, at http://thecompanion.in/tag/majoritarian-democracy/, accessed 25 August 2018.