What is democracy? Democracy means Government by the people. The word comes from the ancient Greek words "demos" (people) and "Kratos" (to rule). A democratic country has a system of Government in which people have the power to participate in decision-making. Every democracy is unique and works in different ways. In some democracies, citizens contribute directly to decision-making by voting on laws and policy proposals (direct democracy). In other countries like Australia, citizens elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf (representative democracy).