At a recent forum in a school, I asked the audience a simple question, "What are the essential attributes of a democracy? What are the institutions, the behaviors, the ingredients without which we can not have democracy?"
There was a pause while people began to think about it. Democracy is something we are lulled into taking for granted, not dissecting. We are constantly reminded that we live in the greatest democracy on earth. So, we should know its prime attributes as intimately as a fish knows water. But, do we really live in a democracy at all?