Suffrage does not define nor does it produce democracy, for electoral voting takes place in totalitarian, fascist, communist, and National Socialist (NAZI), i.e., anti-democratic, states. Having been elected, there is nothing to stop government from imposing control of an upper house, reneging on pledges, nor from adopting any tyrannical measures it chooses.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
Viz. The word ‘democracy’ is widely abused and ‘defined’ incorrectly:
Democracy is a state of society realised neither by referenda (mass voting for new laws), nor by suffrage (electoral voting for representatives), nor by the representatives’ majorities’ legislatorial voting. Electoral voting, majority rule and ‘consensus politics’ neither create nor define democracy.
To preclude arbitrary (i.e., tyrannical; illegal) government and establish liberty and equal justice for all, the Hellenes created the society in which the common people have the power in Trial by Jury to judge the laws and overrule laws and measures enacted by the national assembly. The word the Hellenes gave to describe this state of society in which the citizens have control through the Trial by Jury to judge, make and enforce the laws and overrule the government, the wealthy and powerful, the aristocrats and all the people who sought to rule them, was demokratia, which translates into English as Democracy.
Democracy is founded on the Trial by Jury, derived from the Hellenic Athenian Constitution of government by Trial by Jury. Through its etymology, history and signification, the word democracy designates the constitutional justice system. Modern Constitutional Democracy is based on the sovereignty of the individual citizen-juror as the final arbiter of law and protection of the people from tyranny.
The Hellenic Athenian Constitution of government by Trial by Jury was a conspicuous achievement in human history for constitutionally establishing this unique mode of justice. The aristocrat Cleisthenes it is who must be credited with the creation of mankind’s first democracy in 508/7 B.C.E. (although ‘infant’ in form, as it did not yet give equality to women and permitted slavery). He brought acknowledgement to the need to spread empowerment throughout society to promote equal justice, liberty, peace and prosperity, and devolved power all the way down to the poorest (male) citizens, the thetes, by recognising rights, exousia.
Exousia rights included the right to attend, debate and vote in the national assembly on laws and measures (referenda); the right of the accused to a Trial by Jury; and, crucially, the empowerment of citizens by bestowing on them judicial authority as Jurors in Trial by Jury in which laws and measures passed by legislatorial majorities in the assembly could be judged, overruled and annulled * whenever this was deemed by the Jurors necessary to serve justice, liberty, and the interests of the people.
*See Works, vol. 2; by co-author of the U.S. Constitution, Justice James Wilson.
Democracy created the illustrious Athens which successfully resisted the Persian invasions of 490 and 480/79 at the battles of Marathon and Salamis; that built the Parthenon; set enduring standards in art and architecture; developed sciences including those of medicine, mathematics and astronomy; that proffered a stage to Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes; and laid the foundations of Western rational and critical thought. Hellenic Greece of the Constitution of government by Trial by Jury received from the Athenians the defining epithet, Democracy.
The historical facts about Democracy in Hellenic Greece and everywhere else, are that it was a virile system and devotedly supported by the mass of just, civilised, peace and freedom-loving people. Democratic free Athens eventually only succumbed because of the mighty invasion of the Macedonian, Alexander the Great (conqueror), who emplaced his generals as autocrats to rule by might over right, with force against democracy’s egalitarian system of equal justice and civic liberty. Otherwise, the Hellenic Culture would almost certainly have evolved into the development of equal rights for women, emancipated the slaves and outlawed slavery 2,000 years ago. Alexander’s far-flung martial exploits set back the socio-political development of mankind.
Naturally, people have the moral responsibility, the right and the duty to resist and suppress injustice wherever it occurs, and by whomsoever it is perpetrated, governments notwithstanding. By definition and in practice, Democracy requires that the People at all times retain the Supreme Power to annul injustices and the bad laws made by fallible politicians.
This Power is uniquely embodied in the Citizen-Juror’s Duty in Trial by Jury: to judge the justice of every act of law enforcement, and to render the Not Guilty Verdict whenever conviction or punishment of the accused would be unfair, according to the juror’s conscience.
In legem terræ* common law (constitutionally inscribed into Magna Carta in 1215), it is the jurors’ duty in the Trial by Jury Justice System to judge the justice of the law and every act of enforcement and acquit any persons accused under an arbitrary, unjust or apocryphal statute, regulation or prosecution. Trial by Jury is the central tenet and sole justice system of the People’s legem terræ common law which is superior to statutes or regulations made by national or local governments and the rulings of judges.
* terræ is pronounced terry, the ‘æ’ as in Cæsar, seize.
Consider Harlan F. Stone, U.S. Chief Justice 1941-1946, on the Juror’s Duty in the authentic Trial by Jury, as follows:
"If a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant’s natural God-given unalienable or Constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law.
"That juror must vote Not Guilty regardless of the pressures or abuses that may be heaped on him by any or all members of the jury with whom he may in good conscience disagree. He is voting on the justice of the law according to his own conscience and convictions and not someone else’s. The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided."
U.S. Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone; Harvard Law Review.
Hellenic Greek, Demokratia, Democracy.
demos, the people; kratos, sovereignty*, power; kratein, to rule.
*Perseus Digital Library, Tufts University. See Democracy Defined Essay EIS#10, "We the People and the Matter of Words," downloadable for free from the Democracy Defined Campaign Material webpage.
Chambers Dictionary, etymology, demos, the people; kratein, to rule;
MSN Encarta. Democracy, demos, the people; kratein, to rule;
From the etymology comes the definition: Democracy, the form of government in which the Sovereign Supreme Power is vested in the Common People; the emancipation and ethos of society produced by the power of Juries of ordinary citizens in Trial by Jury, to vet, make, decide and enforce the law; the people rule.
In order to understand the meaning of the word, it is essential to know first that democracy embodies the people’s responsible control over government and law through the Trial by Jury. The people control the government, not the other way around. The people rule. This is democracy.
The power, right and duty of Jurors to decide the verdict according to their convictions and conscience has been established in common law since time immemorial, at least since the pre-historical incipience of judicium parium, "The Judgement of Equals" --- the Trial by Jury Justice System. This is because it is a definitive part of the Juror’s Duty to uphold Justice by protecting the ordinary people, the meek and innocent, from the crimes of lawlessness and injustice inflicted by those in positions of power. This protection against crime is a fundamental purpose of Trial by Jury, which is put into effect by the Juror pronouncing the Not Guilty Verdict to annul the enforcement of cruel or unjust laws, bad governance, the prejudices, corruption or incompetence of judges; and likewise by the cost-free private prosecutions (see below) by ordinary citizens in Trial by Jury of malefactors including those who acquire positions in government and abuse their power.
Later, England’s King Alfred, 871 - 899, upheld the established right and duty of jurors to find the verdict according to their judgement; see: The Illegal "Selection" of Jurors, Campaign Philosophy webpage Three.