What are some differences between a democracy and a dictatorship?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are many differences between these two systems.  Some of the most important are:

  • The people get to play a part in choosing their leaders in a democracy.  In a dictatorship, they do not.
  • The rights of the people are protected in a democracy.  In a dictatorship, they are not.
  • In a democracy, the powers of the government are limited.  There is typically a constitution that says what the government can and cannot do.  It is a "government of laws."  In a dictatorship, there are no limits on what government can do.  It is a "government of men" where the rulers can do whatever they want so long as the dictator agrees.