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Representative democracy

Representative democracy comprises a form of democracy wherein voters choose representatives to act in their interests, but NOT as their proxies[?] - i.e., not necessarily as directed but with enough authority to exercise initiative in the face of changing circumstances, much like a power of attorney.

A European mediaeval tradition of selecting representatives from the various estates (effectively, classes, but not as we know them today) to advise/control monarchs led to relatively wide familiarity with representative systems. Edmund Burke in his speech to the electors of Bristol classically analysed their operation in Britain and the rights and duties of an elected representative.

Representative democracy came into particular general favour in post-industrial revolution nation states where large numbers of subjects or (latterly) citizens evinced interest in politics, but where technology and population figures remained unsuited to direct democracy.

The United Kingdom exemplifies a representative democracy; Germany has been one since 1949.

Other forms of Democracy:

Direct democracy - Participatory democracy - Liberal democracy[?] - Totalitarian democracy

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