Ten tenets of democracy

What is democracy? Democracy means “rule by the people.” That means the people have a say on how their country, state, or community is run and the right to live in freedom. In a democracy, all people are equal and enjoy basic human rights.

What is freedom? In a democracy, freedom means you have the right to do and say what you like  as long as you don’t hurt someone else. There are rules to follow, but they are for the good of all people.

What are human rights? Human rights include freedom to say what you think, freedom to meet with any other people both in private in your home and in public places.

What does it mean to be equal? This means that all people have the same human rights, no matter where they come from, how they look, or what they believe.

What is a constitution? A constitution is a written document of ideas and laws to protect the people so they may live in a land of freedom. 

What is voting? Voting is a way for a group of people to decide something. Everyone is can say “yes” or “no” to something by casting a ballot. Every vote makes a difference when all the ballots are counted.

What is a ballot? A ballot is a  piece of paper on which people who are voting enter their choices. In a democracy, ballots are private. These days, some ballots are electronic.

What is an election? When a group of people votes, it is called an election. On election day, people go to polling places to vote. Often, leaders are chosen to represent or speak for a group of people.

What is a government? Any group of people living together in a country, state, city, or local community has to live by certain rules. The group of people elected to make and oversee these rules is called a government.

Your vote and your voice Even if you must be 18 years old to vote, what you think and say matters and can make a difference. At age 18, you can cast your ballot as part of a a free democracy.