Democracy has existed for as long as human tribes has existed at least.
Democracy was defined by the political scientist Robert Dahl as the majority rule of the people, where it is specified what they rule over and how, with the following criteria:
1. Political equality among the people.
2. Effective part-taking by the people.
3. Wide understanding of the democratic process by the people.
4. Control of the agenda by the people.
5. “The people” should be as inclusive as possible.
No country has ever had full democracy, democracy exists on a spectrum according to Dahl.
In social choice theory the question of “how” is central. How is the information of what the people want gathered? What decision process? Cardinal voting is the purest form of voting where every alternative is voted on and the view of the individual is fully accounted for by ranking and weighting alternatives. This has not been feasible in history, but it is in the digital age.