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262 of 6,095 quotations related to Democracy, showing Adams to Hayek

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Adams, John
Unbridled passions produce the same effects, whether in a king, nobility, or a mob. The experience of all mankind has proved the prevalence of a disposition to use power wantonly. It is therefore as necessary to defend an individual against the majority (in a democracy) as against the king in a monarchy.

As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it.

1774 - from a Proclamation adopted by the Council of Massachusetts Bay
Adams, Samuel
It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds...

Ajzenstat, Janet  
Preventing our democratically elected representatives from defining the public good in the area of social and economic policy can never be acceptable. If we introduce the Social Charter we lose the right that is the essence of democracy in a country like Canada, to live under laws freely determined by our elected representatives.

Jan. 15, 1998 - from "We Don't Need Another Charter", essay for The Canadian Conservative Forum
A liberal democracy can only thrive where there is open debate on political alternatives. It is essential that the electorate should be able to choose freely between parties supporting the welfare state and parties recommending retrenchment and the transfer of responsibilities to the private sphere. It is intolerable to suggest that the people's elected representatives should be bound in the straitjacket of a constitution that sets out one particular ideological program.

Jan. 15, 1998 - from "We Don't Need Another Charter", essay for The Canadian Conservative Forum
Ames, Fisher
Liberty has never lasted long in a democracy, nor has it ever ended in anything better than despotism.

We are sliding down the mire of a democracy that pollutes the morals of the people before it swallows up their freedoms.

Anderson, Richard D.
By covering the 'horse race' instead of the issues, the media encourage people to believe that politicians place self-interest above the public interest. The media also affect which issues people consider important, and negative advertisements discourage political participation. People learn from the media only because they know so little about politics. Were democracy deliberative, these media effects would undermine it. But democracy is not a deliberation but a contest that relies on the ability of the media to shape public opinion. The evidence for media effects is strong, but the media cannot be undermining a form of democracy that does not and cannot exist, and they do sustain the form that does.

Sep. 01, 1998 - from "The Place of the Media in Popular Democracy", an essay published in Critical Review, Fall 1998
Aristotle
The best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class.

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.

350 BC - from Politics



Democracy arose from men thinking that if they are equal in any respect they are equal in all respects.

350 BC - from Politics
Atlee, Clement
Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.

Bagehot, Walter
A democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.

Baldwin, James
Words like 'freedom,' 'justice,' 'democracy' are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.

Jul. 7, 1956 - from "The Crusade of Indignation," published in The Nation
Baldwin, Roger Nash
So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy.

Baldwin, Stanley
A government is not in power, it is in office, put there by the will of the people.

Barber, Benjamin R.
Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two possible political futures -- both bleak, neither democratic. The first is a retribalization of large swaths of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened Lebanonization of national states in which culture is pitted against culture, people against people, tribe against tribe -- a Jihad in the name of a hundred narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of interdependence, every kind of artificial social cooperation and civic mutuality. The second is being borne in on us by the onrush of economic and ecological forces that demand integration and uniformity and that mesmerize the world with fast music, fast computers, and fast food -- with MTV, Macintosh, and McDonald's, pressing nations into one commercially homogenous global network: one McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce. The planet is falling precipitantly apart and coming reluctantly together at the very same moment.

Mar. 1992 - from "Jihad vs. McWorld", published by The Atlantic Monthly
It is in the nature of democracy that it is a process, not an end, to an ongoing experiment, not a set of fixed doctrines. Its ideals, unless we repossess them generation to generation, become little different from any other ideology. The open society means a society without closure. A society open to challenge and criticism. When a nation announces the "work of democracy is finished," it's usually democracy that is finished.

May 1997 - from "The four myths of democracy", published in journal by Civitas International
Barton, Bruce
Advertising is of the very essence of democracy. An election goes on every minute of the business day across the counters of hundreds of thousands of stores and shops where the customers state their preferences and determine which manufacturer and which product shall be the leader today, and which shall lead tomorrow.

1955 - quoted in Contemporary Quotations (1964) by James B. Simpson
Beecher, Henry Ward
Doctrine is nothing but the skin of truth set up and stuffed.




Ignorance is the womb of monsters.

Ben-Gurion, David
The test of democracy is freedom of criticism.

Bennett, William J.
... the character of the state is determined by the virtue of its individual citizens.

1993 - from The Book of Virtues
[Democratic self-government] demands active participation in, and finally, reasoned judgments on, important civic matters. 'Judgment' is a word that is out of favor these days, but it remains a cornerstone of democratic self-government. It is what enables us to hold ourselves, and our leaders, to high standards. It is how we distinguish between right and wrong, noble and base, honor and dishonor. We cannot ignore that responsibility, or foist it on others. It is the price -- sometimes the exacting price -- of citizenship in a democracy. The most popular arguments made by [President Clinton's] supporters invite us to abandon that participation, those standards, and the practice of making those distinctions.

Oct. 01, 1998 - from Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals
Benson, Iain  
[Public education's current] subjective approach to teaching 'values' ignores the education system's role to assist parents and the wider community in forming the character of the next generation of citizens. ... current teaching methods which ignore concepts such as morality and character will prove to be detrimental to how young people view civic responsibility and, ultimately, democracy.

Bianco, Robert
We once worried that democracy could not survive if an undereducated populace knew too little. Now we worry if it can survive us knowing too much.

Jun. 17, 1994 - from his column in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Bork, Robert
In a constitutional democracy the moral content of law must be given by the morality of the framer or legislator, never by the morality of the judge.

1984 - in an essay for the American Enterprise Institute
When a judge goes beyond [his proper function] and reads entirely new values into the Constitution, values the framers and ratifiers did not put there, he deprives the people of their liberty. That liberty, which the Constitution clearly envisions, is the liberty of the people to set their own social agenda through the process of democracy.

1987 - from his opening remarks at the Senate review of his appointment to the Supreme Court
Boyer, Patrick  
Canada has remained a timid democracy. The establishment that has run our country has proceeded comfortably - not always in the interests of the people, nor indeed of the country itself - supported by Canadians' deference to authority and a strange willingness to be passive spectators in our own land. We have become what anthropologists call 'participant observers'.

1992 - from The People's Mandate, Referendums and a More Democratic Canada
I obviously believe in the institutions of 'representative democracy'. But, on the basis of seven years experience in parliament ... I must conclude that serious imbalances created by rigid party discipline must be corrected if we are to keep on calling our MPs "representatives". Even with their faults, our legislatures are still vital to our system of government.

1992 - from The People's Mandate, Referendums and a More Democratic Canada



The ... phenomenon ... of our legislatures being reduced to 'rubber stamps' for decisions already taken by cabinet has to be troubling to anyone concerned about maintaining the dynamic counterbalances essential to a parliamentary democracy.

1992 - from The People's Mandate, Referendums and a More Democratic Canada
... referendums and plebiscites are not meant to replace parliamentary rule, but rather to enhance it. Our system of government depends, ultimately, upon the consent of the people being governed. Canada is not a dictatorship where tyrannical force is used to obtain public acquiescence in the measures and programs of the government. Nor is it a theocracy where we follow the dictates of our leadership because of blindly obedient religious faith. Ours is a democracy where, at the end of the day, there simply must be public consensus about where we are going, and general agreement on how to get there. Without consent the whole elaborate superstructure - the legislatures, the courts, the financial system, the commercial marketplace, the acceptance of laws and norms of behaviour - will corrode until it collapses.

1992 - from The People's Mandate, Referendums and a More Democratic Canada
Powerful governments have long promoted the doctrine of parliamentary democracy that brazenly holds that once elected by virtue of winning the most seats in a general election, regardless of the size of their party's popular vote, they have a mandate to deal with any issue that comes up during the life of that Parliament. ... While this doctrine makes sense as a practical approach to the many details and issues that could never have been aired and debated or even anticipated in an election campaign, it nevertheless enshrines a bold fiction. [This attitude] has become one of the major factors in the loss of credibility suffered by Canadian governments and has led to a general disrespect for Canadian legislatures, shared even by many of us who are members of them.

1992 - from The People's Mandate, Referendums and a More Democratic Canada
Brandeis, Louis Dembitz
The most important political office is that of private citizen.

Brown, George W.  
In a true democracy the majority must not use its power as a steam roller riding ruthlessly over the interests and feelings of the minority; while, at the same time, the minority has an equal obligation to respect and co-operate with the majority. Whatever democracy is, it is not government by brute force but by persuasion. It is a sense of fair play, of justice and sportsmanship in the highest sense of that term.

1952 - from "Canadian Democracy … In Action", J.M. Dent and Sons publisher
Democracy must have people who understand and believe in its principles and are determined to preserve them, for it will not last by itself or by wishful thinking. Democracy must have people who are determined to work together, who have convictions of their own but are willing to respect and co-operate with those with whom they disagree. Democracy must have educated and thinking people, people who believe not merely in preserving their rights but in shouldering their share of responsibilities, people of self discipline and community spirit.

1952 - from "Canadian Democracy … In Action", J.M. Dent and Sons publisher
Buchanan, James M.
I like the noise of democracy.

Why didn't we have deficits before? You see the Keynesian economic revolution gave the politicians an excuse for deficits. You give politicians half an excuse; they play out this natural proclivity. ... As you destroy the old-time fiscal religion, you're going to have this natural proclivity toward deficits. In 1977 [my book] called Democracy in Deficit [made] the argument that the Keynesian destruction of the old mythology about balanced budgets would guarantee the regime that we've had. Certainly the predictions in that book have held up very well.

Sep. 1995 - from an interview published in The Region, a publication of the Woodrow Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Burke, Edmund
Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.

Nov. 03, 1774 - from his speech to the electors of Bristol
Bush, George W.
We must show courage in a time of blessing by confronting our problems instead of passing them on... I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort, to defend needed reforms against many attacks, to serve your nation, beginning with your neighbors. I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators.

Jan. 20, 2001 - from his inaugural address



The most important tasks of a democracy are done by everyone.

Jan. 20, 2001 - from his Inaugural Address
Camp, Dalton  
The danger of democracy has always been the danger of an electorate seized by passivity.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Campbell, Kim  
In a democracy, government isn't something that a small group of people do to everybody else. It's not even something they do for everybody else. It should be something they do with everybody else.

Mar. 25, 1993
Carlyle, Thomas
Democracy means despair of ever finding any heroes to govern you, and contentedly putting up with the want of them.

from Past and Present
Cattell, Raymond B.
Historically most cultures have not felt it necessary to remove the last vestiges of poverty (if that were possible) before proceeding with cultural creation. Pericles persisted with the construction of the Parthenon despite poverty and other distress in Athens. ... As in Upper Egypt or at Minos, the many had to be 'exploited' by the few. ... In our present age, probably through the Christian religions rather than the political Athenian-Icelandic form of democracy, and in the absence of evolutionary ethics, it is frowned upon to push ahead with creations meaningful and possible (at first) only for a few. It is as if an army were compelled, by internal prejudices, to advance single file abreast, regardless of the tactical formation for success.

1994 - from How Good is Your Country, Institute for the Study of Man, Washington D.C.
Chase, Ilka
Democracy is not an easy form of government, because it is never final; it is a living, changing organism, with a continuous shifting and adjusting of balance between individual freedom and general order.

from Past Imperfect
Chesterton, Gilbert K.
The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed.

1922 - from What I Saw In America
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death.

1908 - from Orthodoxy
You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.

1909 - from Tremendous Trifles
Chomsky, Noam
Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.




Churchill, Sir Winston
The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.

I was brought up in my father's house to believe in democracy. Trust the people - that was his message ... In my country, as in yours, public men are proud to be the servants of the State and would be ashamed to be its masters.

Dec. 26, 1941 - from a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress
Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

Nov. 11, 1947 - from a speech in the British House of Commons
Clarkson, Adrienne  
 We [are] more like the Europeans ... in our ability to understand and employ state capitalism, our ability to distinguish between social democracy and communism, our social programs, and our lack of urban violence. I think if we go through with this [North American Free Trade] deal, those arguments are going to be no longer possible to put forth to Europeans.

Sep. 9, 1999 - quoted in "Broadcaster has lived her life in the public eye", by Jonathon Gatehouse, published in the National Post
Clinton, William Jefferson
Undeniably, character does count for our citizens, our communities, and our nation, and this week we celebrate the importance of character in our individual lives ... core ethical values of trustworthiness, fairness, responsibility, caring, respect, and citizenship form the foundation of our democracy, our economy, and our society. Instilling sound character in our children is essential to maintaining the strength of our nation into the 21st century.

Oct. 17, 1997 - from his speech for "National Character Counts Week"
Coolidge, Calvin
[People] are not required to make any contribution to Government expenditures except that which they voluntarily assess upon themselves through the action of their own representatives. Whenever taxes become burdensome a remedy can be applied by the people; but if they do not act for themselves, no one can be very successful in acting for them.

Mar. 4, 1925 - from his Inaugural Address
The latest, most modern, and nearest perfect system that statesmanship has devised is representative government. Its weakness is the weakness of us imperfect human beings who administer it.

Jan. 7, 1914 - from a speech delivered to the Massachusetts Senate when he became its president
Craven, Bill
 If we [legislators] don't watch our respective tails, the people are going to be running the government.

Aug. 25, 1998 - quoted in the Los Angeles Times commenting on California's citizens' initiatives
de Ruggiero, Guido
The evil of democracy is not the triumph of quantity, but the triumph of bad quality.

1927 - from The History of European Liberalism II
de Tocqueville, Alexis
Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.




Dewey, John D.
 A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience.

Diefenbaker, John George  
Governments propose, and oppositions dispose.

Nov. 2, 1962 - from a speech in the Canadian Parliament
Disraeli, Benjamin
If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.

Mar. 31, 1850 - from a speech in the British House of Commons
Dudek, Louis  
There is no democracy of values, there is only democracy of rights.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Dupin, Eric
[Commenting on 30% voter turnout in a French plebiscite] Voters take part in the electoral process because they want to affirm their membership in a political community. The weakening of this feeling leads to the collapse of democracy. A sort of civic consumerism develops where voting becomes discretionary rather than a matter of duty.

Sep. 28, 2000 - quoted by William F. Buckley in "What are the French saying?", published by UPI
Eisenhower, Dwight D.
Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.

Eliot, Thomas Stearns
It is one thing to say what is sadly certain, that democratic government has been watered down to almost nothing....But it is another thing to ridicule the idea of democracy.

from his essay on Fascism
A real democracy is always a restricted democracy, and can only flourish with some limitation by hereditary rights and responsibilities....The modern question as popularly put is: 'democracy is dead, what is to replace it?' whereas it should be: 'the frame of democracy has been destroyed; how can we, out of the materials at hand, build a new structure in which democracy can live?'

from his essay on Fascism
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.

Farrugia, Alastair
Freedom is when the people can speak, democracy is when the government listens.




Fonte, John
At the end of the day, the progressive paradigm of group rights and equality of condition is a utopian construct that is incompatible with the traditional liberal democratic worldview of individual rights, equality of citizenship, and constitutional self-government grounded on an empirically based reason and a realistic concept of human nature. The conflict between the liberty party and the progressive party (as [Alexis de] Tocqueville predicted) will determine the ultimate fate of democracy, equality and liberty.

Jun. 19, 1999 - from his essay "Back to the future", published in the National Post newspaper, Toronto
Increasingly Western elites are calling for an expansion of the meaning of democracy. In Canada, McGill University philosopher Charles Taylor deplores 'the dynamics of democratic exclusion' and calls for a modification of the 'reigning formula' of traditional liberal democracy by recognizing the cultures and perspectives of minorities, women and immigrants as the basis for a new vision. In America, a leading educator, James Banks, declares that 'to create an authentic democratic unum with moral authority and perceived legitimacy, the pluribus (diverse peoples) must negotiate and share power.' ... What is going on here?

Jun. 19, 1999 - from his essay "Back to the future", published in the National Post newspaper, Toronto
Forster, Edward Morgan
... two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism. Two cheers are quite enough: there is no occasion to give three.

1938 - from "What I Believe," later published in Two Cheers for Democracy
Fosdick, Harry Emerson
Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.

Foster, Peter  
One criticism of Helms-Burton is that it threatens to derail a more gradual transition towards democracy in Cuba, but such a view is hard to square with the facts. No gradual transition appears in sight, either to democracy or to capitalism. The notion that foreign investment will somehow 'reform' Castro seems either naïve or self-serving.

Foucault, Michel
Historically, the process by which the bourgeoisie became in the course of the eighteenth century the politically dominant class was masked by the establishment of an explicit, coded and formally egalitarian framework made possible by the organisation of a parliamentary, representative regime. But the development and generalisation of disciplinary mechanisms constituted the other dark side of these processes. The general juridical form that guaranteed a system of rights that were egalitarian in principle, was supported by these tiny, everyday physical mechanisms, by all those systems of micro-power that are essentially non-egalitarian and asymmetrical that we call the disciplines.

1975 - from Discipline and Punish
Frum, David  
... conservatives, much more than liberals, are worried about the problem of how do you reconcile democracy, and not just institutional democracy but the real feeling that the mass of the people should rule, with other values that are important. That is a thing that conservatives worry about a lot: How do you reconcile it with liberty and respect for property and respect for traditional religious values?

Oct. 30, 1994 - from an interview on the C-SPAN program Booknotes
Fulbright, J. William
Insofar as it represents a genuine reconciliation of differences, a consensus is a fine thing; insofar as it represents a concealment of differences, it is a miscarriage of democratic procedure.

Oct. 22, 1965 - from a speech in the United States Senate
In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects.

Apr. 21, 1966 - from a speech
A democracy can recover quickly from physical or economic disaster, but when its moral convictions weaken it becomes easy prey for the demagogue and the charlatan. Tyranny and oppression then become the order of the day.




Gairdner, William D.  
Modern democratic theory [includes] the almost hysterically naive idea that from the pooled votes of more free citizens will arise more goodness and truth.

Dec. 01, 1998 - from "Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Romantic Roots of Modern Democracy", published on The Canadian Conservative Forum
What is perhaps most ironic and extraordinary about our current sense of democracy ... is how its constituent words: freedom, choice, equality, and rights, are used to defend the blatantly contradictory notions of individualism and collectivism simultaneously. Although many Canadians died defending the former against the latter, we now embrace both with an equal fondness.

Jun. 25, 2001 - from Commentary, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
We think the word democracy has to do only with individual rights, and no longer with our larger responsibilities to the whole people. We seem to believe that individuals have all the rights, and governments have all the duties. The people are simply forgotten. Until we rethink these fundamental propositions, democracy will continue to deceive us.

Jun. 25, 2001 - from Commentary, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Although democracy is really just a technique for the distribution of power, we have allowed it to become a new and dangerously unexamined belief system. In a sense, as faith in God and a law above the people weakened, they were replaced by a rising faith in the people and in the "progress" of secular society. The twentieth century was a battleground between warring concepts of democracy that had all become political religions of a sort.

Mar. 2001 - from promotional notes for The Trouble with Democracy
Canada would benefit from a cantonal form of government, such as the Swiss enjoy, rather than our present "executive federalism," or top-down form of government.

Mar. 2001 - from promotional notes for The Trouble with Democracy
Everybody uses the word "democracy" to defend all sorts of contradictory policies and points of view. ... It has become a cheap concept passed around to serve all needs.

Mar. 2001 - from promotional notes for The Trouble with Democracy
... momentous shifts and changes in the ground of human society are usually very slow and seldom felt at the time. The ordinary citizens of ancient Athens or Rome had little inkling that their civilizations were already in deep decline as they lived their daily lives, raised their children, worked their slaves, went to a play, or the baths, or the bloody gladitorial matches ... It is a fact, and a seeming paradox, that the moral and social decay of any civilization may occur in the midst of a general material well-being that serves to mask the decline.

Apr. 2001 - from The Trouble with Democracy
... the most important civilizational ideals are ultimately weighed according to some publicly accepted notion of virtue and vice ... There can be no moral framework, and therefore no true community, without a judicious public intolerance. In other words, there can be no public sense of virtue without a public sense of vice.

Apr. 2001 - from The Trouble with Democracy
Gandhi, Mahatma Mohandas
Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep.

In true democracy every man and woman is taught to think for himself or herself.




Garrett, Garet
We have crossed the boundary that lies between Republic and Empire. If you ask when, the answer is that you cannot make a single stroke between day and night: the precise moment does not matter. There was no painted sign to say: 'You are now entering Imperium.' Yet it was a very old road and the voice of history was saying: 'Whether you know it or not, the act of crossing may be irreversible.' And now, not far ahead, is a sign that reads: 'No U-turns.'

1952 - from The Rise of Empire
Gingrich, Newt
Conservatism in its modern form starts with [the] Magna Carta ... It comes down through the English civil war, is codified by John Locke, picked up by Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers, and enters the Declaration of Independence with the words that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. In this Anglo-American model, power comes from God to the citizen and is loaned by him to the state. In the European model, power comes from God to the King and is loaned by him to the citizen. This basic difference explains why [the American] Constitution begins: 'We, the people ...'

Nov. 01, 1997 - from a speech delivered at the International Conservative Congress, quoted by National Review Magazine
Glenn, John
I worry about the future when we have so many young people who feel apathetic and critical and cynical about anything having to do with politics ... and yet politics is literally the personnel system for democracy.

Grant, R.W.
... one is drawn to the conclusion that majority rule is a false god; that the goal of free people should not be majority rule at all but self-rule, not political action but individual action, not the 'public interest' but private interest.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
Greenfield, Meg
Everybody's for democracy in principle. It's only in practice that the thing gives rise to stiff objections.

Gunter, Lorne  
Where once sovereign states were skeptical of surrendering sovereignty, social democratic governments (and often the bureaucracies serving conservative ones), especially in the developed world, have begun using the [United Nations/non-governmental-organizations] nexus the way they use the courts: to effect changes to domestic public policy that would be difficult or impossible democratically. In other words, they use the UN and the NGOs to circumvent democracy.

28-Aug-99 - from "Whose world is it, anyway?", published in the National Post newspaper
Reformers believe the people should be the sovereigns in a democracy, while Tories cringe at the thought of sharing national decision-making with their children’s nanny, their chauffeur and secretary.

from his column in the Edmonton Journal
Hamilton, Alexander
We are now forming a republican government. Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate government.

Jun. 26, 1787 - from "Debates of the Federal Convention"
Hand, Learned
... even though counting heads is not an ideal way to govern, at least it is better than breaking them.

1932 - from "Democracy: Its Presumptions and Realities" in The Spirit of Liberty
Hayek, Friedrich
There is no justification for the belief that, so long as power is conferred by democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary... it is not the source but the limitation of power which prevents it from being arbitrary.

1944 - from The Road to Serfdom