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5 most important rights provided to citizens in a democratic state (captions and brief descriptions may be helpful here).

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that 5 most important rights that citizens in a democratic are as follows:

1)  Freedom of speech and expression- The most fundamental right that all citizens must have in a democratic state is the right to express oneself and one's opinions.  This feeds into the responsibility of civic virtue and basic tenets of citizenship.  An image that I would associate wih this basic right is a megaphone.  It generates sound and reverberates sound when someone speaks through it.  This is similar to how democracy functions:  When there is voice, everyone benefits in a democracy.

2)  The right to a fair trial/ due process (procedural fairness)- I think another fundamental right that a democratic state must protect is the right of citizens to enjoy a legal process that is just and fair.  Certainly, the responsibility this promotes is faith in the judicial system.  If the legal system breaks down or suffers a lack of faith on the part of its citizens, a major blow to the system is felt and its legitimacy is questioned.  The gavel is the image I would use to represent this right.

3)  The right to a free and unperturbed media- Democracy only functions effectively when its citizens are given access to information and are properly informed about the affairs of its government.  This transparency is provided by a free and open press.  The image that represents this is a newspaper.

4)  The right to vote freely in public and open elections- The responsibility of civic virtue is an essential component for democracy.  A democratic government can only function when as many people as possible are able to participate in the electoral process.  The ballot or a ballot box would be the graphic image the represent this.

5)  The right to worship religion in a free setting- This is an interesting and compelling one for me.  Democracy works well when all of its citizens feel that they are able to have some sphere of influence that is free from external control.  The issue of religion is one that falls into this category.  Individuals need to feel some level of spiritual fulfillment and should be able to choose freely how that path is taken.  It can be through religion, spirituality, or identification with a code of honor that is understood by them and them alone.  As long as this right does not interfere with another's right to be left alone, the democratic responsibility of tolerance and acceptance is advanced and I think that this is of critical importance in a democratic state.  Greater spiritual fulfillment (personal freedom in this realm is intrinsic) yields citizens that are able to feel that they are represented in the democratic process.  I think the image I would use is something like an open field.

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