Difference Between Democracy and Non Democracy

Democracy vs Non Democracy

There are various forms of governance that are in place in different countries of the world and democracy is only one of them. It is referred to as the rule of the people. Democracy is one political system where people have a say in matters affecting their lives as they have the power to elect their representatives to rule them and also depose them when they do not fulfill their aspirations. This is also called the rule of ballet where people participate in elections to choose candidates who they feel are right to run the administration of the country. Though democracy is the preferred form of polity, there are countries that follow other forms of government and all such political structures are referred to as non democracies. In this article we will highlight the differences between democracy and non democracy.


The word democracy comes from two Latin words Demo (people) and Kratos (power) which signifies that it is a type of government which is by the people, of the people and for the people. Free and fair elections are a hallmark of democracies where there is a principle of adult suffrage and people vote for their representatives who govern them through rule of law. People thus have a say in the development and passage of legislation through their elected representatives.

Another notable feature of a democracy is the rule of majority. In a two party democracy, it is the party that is in majority (meaning it has more number of elected representatives) that gets a chance to rule by forming a government. In a multi party democracy, like minded parties form a coalition and the coalition that has higher number of elected representatives comes into power and choose a candidate among them to become the head of the government.

Non Democracy

All kinds of polities that are different from the tenets of democracy are labeled non democracies. Some examples of non democracies are autocracy (dictatorships), aristocracy (rule of kings and queens), Communism, Authoritarianism, rule of military and so on. The fundamental difference between a democracy and any other form of government is that people do not have the kind of equality and freedom that they enjoy in a democracy and they also do not have a say in passage of legislation as much as they have in democracy.

In theocracy, there is a supreme leader (religious), who is above the rule of law and has the power to rule by decree. Though there are elections that resemble a democracy, this supreme leader has the power to even dismiss the chosen President if he so desires. The classic case of a theocracy is Iran.

In brief:

• There are different systems of governance in the world, and though democracy is the preferred choice of the people, there are non democracies in the world.

• While democracies are characterized by the rule of law and equality and freedom of the people, people have remarkably less freedom and equality in non democracies.

• However, no political system is completely free from flaws and there are critics of even democracy, leave alone non democracy.