„Democracy is a competitive political system in which competing leaders and organizations define the alternatives of public policy in such a way that the public can participate in the decision-making process.“

—  Elmer Eric Schattschneider, The Semisovereign People (1960)
Elmer Eric Schattschneider8
American political scientist 1892 - 1971

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„Democracy is the wholesome and pure air without which a socialist public organization cannot live a full-blooded life.“

—  Mikhail Gorbachev General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1931
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„There is nothing automatic about campaign pledges finding their way into public policy.“

—  John W. Kingdon American political scientist 1940
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„The respondents in this case insist that a difficult question of public policy must be taken from the reach of the voters, and thus removed from the realm of public discussion, dialogue, and debate in an election campaign. Quite in addition to the serious First Amendment implications of that position with respect to any particular election, it is inconsistent with the underlying premises of a responsible, functioning democracy. One of those premises is that a democracy has the capacity—and the duty—to learn from its past mistakes; to discover and confront persisting biases; and by respectful, rationale deliberation to rise above those flaws and injustices. That process is impeded, not advanced, by court decrees based on the proposition that the public cannot have the requisite repose to discuss certain issues. It is demeaning to the democratic process to presume that the voters are not capable of deciding an issue of this sensitivity on decent and rational grounds. The process of public discourse and political debate should not be foreclosed even if there is a risk that during a public campaign there will be those, on both sides, who seek to use racial division and discord to their own political advantage. An informed public can, and must, rise above this. The idea of democracy is that it can, and must, mature. Freedom embraces the right, indeed the duty, to engage in a rational, civic discourse in order to determine how best to form a consensus to shape the destiny of the Nation and its people.“

—  Anthony Kennedy Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1936
Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, 572 U. S. ____, (2016), plurality opinion.