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Democracy, literally, rule by the people (from the Greek demos, "people," and kratos, "rule") is a government within a group in which the members of the group have approximately equal political power. This can be contrasted with oligarchy and autocracy (literally, rule by a few people or a single person), in which political power is very unequal. Exactly what democracy means in practice is controversial. Today, democracy is often assumed to be liberal democracy, but there are other varieties.
The word "democracy" has acquired a highly positive connotation in much of the world over the second half of the 20th century, to such an extent that even many dictatorships claim to be democratic and often hold illiberal elections to garner legitimacy, both internally and internationally. Most contemporary political ideologies include at least nominal support for some kind of democracy.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy
Internet democracy is a derivative term for e-democracy (electronic democracy), especially related to projects and concepts centered on using the Internet (and not other electronic communications technologies like short message services or teletext) for deliberative and participatory aims. Concrete implementations of Internet democracy projects include electronic town hall meetings or citizen consultations, the use of discussion boards on party or candidate websites and the virtualization of traditional political institutions or mechanisms like party conventions, protest marches or petitions.
While some see Internet democracy in its different flavors as the next step towards "real democracy," and as the tool that finally helps to eliminate the distance constraints in direct democracy and increase the degree of interaction between politicians and the public, others compare it with similar hypes which came with every new medium, especially radio broadcasting (Bertolt Brecht's utopia), cable television (teledemocracy) and VCRs. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_democracy [Jun 2005]
see also: politics - transparency
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