Ralph, in many ways, embodies a democratic approach to leadership on the island. Whereas Jack is eager to seize power and maintain it through disseminating fear and encouraging greed and other base instincts throughout the population, Ralph seems open to the idea of democratic leadership when he first learns to blow the conch. He is amazed and delighted when the others begin to assemble once he has called them.
Like many leaders, Ralph has a canny advisor; his is Piggy. Ralph is nice-looking and well-born; Piggy is from a lower class and physically unattractive. Ralph becomes the face of the democratic faction on the island and depends on Piggy's intellect and Simon's humanity to shape policy.
Ralph very quickly adapts to his leadership role when he wins the election against Jack. He attempts to placate Jack and keep him close by giving him control of the choir, who become the hunters. Ralph seems to instinctively understand the separation of powers in a democracy.
Ralph attempts to keep the focus on keeping the boys safe and well while never keeping the goal of rescue far from his thoughts. He is far more of a man of the people than Jack, whose interests are darker, self-serving, and ultimately destructive.