Hello! I’m Ricardo Padilla and this is “Ibang Klaseng Klase.” In this episode, let’s talk about democracy. What does this really mean? We know that the Republic of the Philippines is a democracy, but what else do we know? Time for some learning! What is democracy? The word “Democracy” comes from a Greek term “Demokratia,” which means “Popular Government”. It is a combination of the words “Demos” meaning “Common People” and “Kratos” meaning “Rule or Strength”. When joined together, these two terms form the word “Democracy” or the “Rule of the Common People”. This concept traces its history back to Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers. Do you recognize the people behind me- Aristotle, Plato and Socrates? They were the great thinkers behind democracy. Word association! What comes to mind every time you hear the word “Democracy”? To me, the word means: Freedom Human Rights Social Justice Elections These are difficult concepts; but, what really are the characteristics of a true democracy? Let us talk about its main features. Well, according to the Oxford Dictionary, “Democracy is a system of government in which the people have some say in what goes on in the government”. In other words, all of us are vital to the functioning of a democracy. What, therefore, are the most effective ways for people to involve themselves in government? Well, obviously not just Facebook or Twitter. The right way to do so is through elections. Elections are some of the hallmarks of a democratic nation. And, for a country or a state to be recognized as a democracy, all citizens should be able to use their right to vote for leaders through free, fair and competitive elections. Free, Fair and Competitive. Elections with those characteristics truly define a democratic nation. All over the world, there are only twenty-two nations where casting of votes is mandatory or required. The Republic of the Philippines is not included in the list of these nations as the compulsory casting of votes is not stipulated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution. However, we Filipinos are very active in exercising our right to vote on both the local and national levels. How important, anyway, are elections in a democracy? Very important! Why? Because through elections, you get to voice out your wishes and goals to the government. You are saying that you want to be heard by the leaders of your country. How can the government do what you want it to do, if you don’t speak up? Every time you go to the polling precinct, you are letting your voice be heard- You are making a choice! However, deciding not to vote also constitutes a choice. And because we are a democracy, the choice solely rests on you, and on you alone. You may or may not vote. And if you decide not to, don’t complain about the state of our government, because by not voting, you relinquish your right to make your voice heard. Elections are the right platform for change! As citizens of this nation, we have rights and privileges, but we also have responsibilities towards our nation, like the right to vote. But, the right to vote is just one of the many rights of citizens in a democracy. What are the others? We’ll learn about them in upcoming videos. I am Ricardo Padilla and this is “Ibang Klaseng Klase”. And if you loved this video, why don’t you subscribe, and hit the bell so you can see our latest videos. See you next time. If you want to see more videos about Philippine politics and society, just click my channel page to see more! And if you have any opinions, clarifications or suggestions, kindly send me a message via the comment section, and I will try my level best to respond to them.