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It is commonly stated that Western societies are democracies, and by this some people assume that what is meant is a direct democracy. Western society however, for the most part, rather than being a direct democracy, is a representative democracy.
In a direct democracy, "...sovereignty is lodged in the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate." An example of a direct democracy is the initiative process by which a group of citizens collects enough signatures of eligible voters, to place an initiative on a ballot, which is then voted on at an election. California, for example, has such a system, however the vast majority of laws are still passed by the legislature, and either signed into law, or vetoed by the governor.
The societies that you as a citizen, will be involved in are for the most part, representative democracies. The laws that you will be subject to, are not created in a process in which you directly participate, but rather they are created in a process in which your representative directly participates. You elect someone to represent you, they then make and enforce laws that you are required to obey. Your local condo association, city government, school board, water district, county government, state government, and national government are all, representative democracies.
In the "Discussion" paragraph in this archived copy of the article on direct democracy at Wikipedia, discussing representational governance we find this statement : "Many political movements seek to restore some measure of direct democracy or a more deliberative democracy (which includes consensus decision-making rather than simply majority rule)." (See also majoritarian voting).