The most accepted definition for the word democracy is "government by the people." Merriam-Webster's dictionary even uses those words to define the word democracy. This, however, gives a broad definition of democracy and leaves one wondering whether America is a democracy. It is a fact that Americans voice their opinions by casting ballots every two or four years to elect officials. However, it is also a fact that not all of these officials are elected directly. The president, for example, takes office due to the votes of electors who represent the popular opinion. In addition, Americans elect Representatives and Senators to propose bills as opposed to each individual citizen proposing bills. Although not all of America's decisions are made in a direct manner, the population still has the opportunity to take an active role in the politics of America. The citizens of this nation are endowed with the freedom to vote on legislation and elect leaders that directly affect the outcome of the nation. Therefore, America is a definite form of democracy. The definition of democracy is vague, and when determining whether a country is a democracy, it is important to see what kind of role the population plays in the political realm of the country. This paper will discuss the background, governmental structure, and political issues of Uganda to inform the reader, and to determine whether Uganda is a democratic form of government.
Four main ethnic groups comprise the population of Uganda: the Bantus, the Nilotics, the NiloHamitics, and the Sudanics. Genealogy employed by the settlers in the area remains the only historical documentation of the peoples pre-colonialism. At the time of Uganda's first exploration, there were three main kingdoms, each ruled by a Monarch and differing in their laws and customs. The three kingdoms were Buganda, Kitara (sub-divided into Bunyoro and Toro), and Karagwe, and were all well documented by the explorers.