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I learned in school that democracy was "rule of the people, by the people".
Basically, people vote and elect representatives to make their laws.
How can one access the quality of a democracic system?
The percentage of voters who's votes DIRECTLY contribute to the election of members of parliament would be a good measure of democratic quality.

After all, if your vote does not elect anybody, who is going to protect your interests in parliament? Probably nobody!
How representative the parliament is would be another good measure. If 20% of people vote for a particular party, isn't it logical that 20% of parliamentarians be of that party?
Yet people from large partys will argue forever that this is not a good idea! The Image below compares representation from a recent election in the republic of ireland with one in the province of BC Canada. The differences are obvious and glaring!
The voting system in the republic of ireland, is based on regestering preference
The republic of Ireland uses a voting system called the single transferrable vote. It is loved by the people. On at least 2 occasions in the past, the largest party tried to replace it with the straight vote and got resoundingly turned down in referendum. In the system, you vote,1,2,3, etc, in the order of your preference to elect members of parliament. We (for I am Irish) have multi seat constituencys. When I was there, I voted in a 5 seat constituency, and it might typically elect to parliament 2 each from the larger 2 partys and one from a smaller party. I now live in Canada where governments are elected using the straight vote (winner takes all).
It is, quite simply, government by the largest minority. What a perversion of the democratic ideal that is! In the provence I live in, BC, the new provincial government won just over 50% of the vote and took all but 2 of the seats! (and they came within a hair of winning those two). What an unsafe situation! These guys have the whip hand for the next few years with nobody to question their moves. Indeed, in a homogenous country, if there were were 3 evenly matched partys, it would be possible to win a huge majority with a 35%, 33%, 32% split in the voting!
Canada, the USA and the UK uses voting systems that could yield a huge winner under those conditions!! The rest could become "the silenced majority" in this travesty of a democratic system and it often happens to some extent.
Isn't it time to waken up to the danger?
This, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.
I did not realise until I came to Canada, that election disasters happen all the time! In the previous BC elections, a majority of seats was won by a party that came second in overall votes!
Mammoth partys mushroom overnight into powerful governments which disappear without a trace at the next election! I should not say ,without a trace, because with each lurch to the left or to the right, Canada or one of its provences is economically devestated. BC is many times bigger than the republic of Ireland, but with the same population. I do not think the standard of life is any better here despite having so much more resources per person. Perhaps it is because of having a strange voting system.
Brian  White
Irish election (%represented voters) and standard deviation
British Columbia election (%represented voters) and standard deviation Check and compare the charts. There is a marked difference!