Majoritarian democracy

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Majoritarian democracy, as opposed to constitutional democracy, refers to democracy based upon majority rule of a society's citizens.[1] Majoritarian democracy is the conventional form of democracy used as a political system in many countries.

Though common, majoritarian democracy is not universally accepted – majoritarian democracy was famously criticized as having the inherent danger of becoming a "tyranny of the majority" whereby the majority in society could oppress or exclude minority groups,[1] which can lead to violence and civil war;[2][3] some argue that since parliament, statutes and preparatory works are very important in majoritarian democracies, and considering the absence of a tradition to exercise judicial review at the national level, majoritarian democracies are undemocratic.

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.[1][2][3]

Fascism rejects majoritarian democracy because the latter assumes equality of citizens and fascists claim that fascism is a form of authoritarian democracy that represents the views of a dynamic organized minority of a nation rather than the disorganized majority.[4]


The UK, USA and Canada are examples of majoritarian democracies. Representatives are chosen not by proportional electoral systems, but simple plurality voting.


  1. ^ a b c David., Arter (2006). Democracy in Scandinavia : consensual, majoritarian or mixed?. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780719070464. OCLC 64555175.
  2. ^ a b Reynal-Querol, Marta (2002). "Political systems, stability and civil wars" (PDF). Defence and Peace Economics. 13 (6): 465–483. CiteSeerX doi:10.1080/10242690214332. According to our model the proportional system has a lower probability of rebellion than the majoritarian system. .. Empirically, we find that countries with proportional system has the lowest probability that groups rebel and that the more inclusive is the system, the smaller the probability of suffering a civil war.
  3. ^ a b Emerson, Peter (2016). From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics (1st ed.). Cham: Springer. ISBN 9783319235004. OCLC 948558369. Unfortunately, one of the worst democratic structures is the most ubiquitous: majority rule based on majority voting. It must be emphasised, furthermore, that these two practices are often the catalysts of division and bitterness, if not indeed violence and war.
  4. ^ Anthony., Arblaster (1994). Democracy (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. p. 48. ISBN 9780816626014. OCLC 30069868.