A true democratic political system has certain characteristics. One essential characteristic of democracy is that it allows people to freely make choices without government intervention. Another necessary characteristic is that every vote must count equally, and all people must be subject to the same laws, have equal civil rights, and be allowed to freely express their ideas. Minority rights are also crucial in a democracy. No matter how unpopular their views, all people should enjoy the freedoms of speech, press and assembly. Public policy should be made publicly, not secretly, and regularly scheduled elections should be held. Another characteristic is free elections. Free elections give people the chance to choose their leaders and to voice their opinions on various issues. Free elections also help ensure the public officials to pay attention to the wishes of the people. Competing political parties is another characteristic of a true democracy. Political parties are an important element of a democratic government. The rival parties help make elections meaningful. It gives voters a choice among the candidates. It helps simplify and focus attention on key issues for voters.
Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher and political theorist, one of the first modern Western thinkers to provide a secular justification for the political state. Hobbes was famous for his early development of what has come to be known as "social contract theory", the method of justifying political principles or arrangements by appeal to the agreement that would be made among suitably situated rational, free, and equal persons. He is infamous for having used the social contract method to arrive at a conclusion that we should submit to the authority of an absolute sovereign power.
John Locke's views attacked the theory of divine right of kings and the nature of the state developed by the political theorist Thomas Hobbes.