|Governmental leaders are selected by free and fair elections where all citizens can vote.||Competing for power with the ruling group is either limited or nonexistent.|
|Leaders are limited in the power they can exercise, and follow existing laws.||Authoritarian leaders often exercise power arbitrarily and without regard to existing bodies of law.|
|The top leaders seek advisors with expertise and experience in particular areas.||The top leaders often use personal loyalty as the main criterion for choosing advisors.|
|Decisions are generally reached based on benefits to the country and its citizens.||Decisions are generally reached based on benefits to the top leaders and their supporters.|
|Non-violent protest and alternative views are welcomed.||Protesters are often arrested. There is little to no toleration of dissent|
|Media is free to express its views.||Media is controlled by the government.|
Democracy is not guaranteed — it is a rare and fragile thing by Tobias Stone, May 4, 2022
We cannot take democracy for granted; those of us living in democracies are enjoying a rare moment of freedom in human history.