Democracy is both an invented and a chosen form of self-government based on equal representation, and a kind of social order, based on egalitarian principles. This chapter focuses on the latter, and specifically focuses on its effect on children and young people. Children and young people may be aware at some level, at some times, of a belief in democracy as the best form of government and one towards which most societies aspire. Not everyone will agree that democracy is self-evidently the best political system or that it should be part of everyday life and everyday language. Children and young people may also be aware of adults’ disaffection with their representative democratic structures, resentment of the political class and a lack of belief in the trustworthiness of politicians. And for some adults, the power of their vote does not feel in any way equal to the power of those possessing large economic and social capital. Nonetheless, a democratic system and democratic values would be claimed by most as part of the texture of this country, and by many that it therefore should feature in the present lives of its children and young people, as well as in their future lives as adults.
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