If democracy is the political process by which people get to participate in choosing who governs them, then all should work out for the best. The majority or plurality of votes in favor of one candidate versus another, for public office, should seal the deal and lead to good and stable government, so the Athenian electors thought millennia ago. Just in case bad people got into power, they could be easily ousted and banished for life based on the prerogative of a very prescriptive city charter. While democracy as a grand concept or ideal may seem to have become more workable over time, it is still the same experiment in making government work for the people while avoiding political unrest or anarchy. The relatively uncomplicated world of city-state politics back then – 70-100 electors – has only morphed into a system which today has become more inclusive, complex, alienating, divisive, corrupt, baffling, expensive and unwieldy because the population is that much greater and more demanding. Citizens or voters now line up behind parties or groups that represent their views in the hope that they will be heard. The stronger the collective voice of discontent or protest, the greater the likelihood that it will be felt in the halls of power, locally, regionally and nationally. If mass demonstrations don’t bring change, then there is always a protracted election campaign to stir the pot and galvanize the vote and get action. How does one get to know how different candidates and parties seek your support: they actively go out with a party platform in tow to court your vote. That might mean attending meetings, becoming better informed through the internet about prevailing issues, forming personal views, and even backing or becoming a candidate. Many pundits believe exercising one’s franchise, as laid out above, is the responsibility of all citizens in defence of the realm, and I couldn’t agree more. So why is there a growing fear that democracy has fallen on hard times, what with the rise of populism tyranny, public debt, apathy, uncertainty and cynicism? The answer is twofold: democracy has reached a tipping point, according to Levisky and Lipsatt in “How Democracies Die”, it is no longer, based on its diminished powers to accommodate a wide range of conflicting ideas, able to guarantee effective government that collects taxes, builds social housing, insures private investment, improves infrastructure, enforces ethics, creates jobs, and regulates security to name a few. Where slates, parties or mandates aren’t strong, elected assemblies, governments and councils are often left striving to reach the very difficult compromise or consensus on any legislative issue. The hurdles to overcome here are too often limited money, finite resources, design, uncertain consequences and narrow political ideology. Any party in power, to avoid these obstacles usually answers to its base, which means satisfyingly them first when it comes to getting re-elected. So how does all this jeopardize the future of democracy well into the 21st century? Quite possibly, with recent democratic expressions like the Brexit vote in Britain to leave the EU, there is a very real possibility that this modern state sinks into inertia because it can’t forge a satisfactory exit strategy. It is such political and economic paralysis that is leading to the emergence of an Adolf Hitler-style demigod given to providing seemingly easy fixes as long as people are willing to follow him. Only when power is seized, with the takeover of democratic institutions, do we then learn that democracy has finally undergone a slow but ignominious death.