The major sign of progress in any culture is the ability for the citizens to express their ideas and elect government representatives that support their philosophies. Therefore, freedom of ideas and freedom to vote are two essential qualities for a democratic government. Democracy takes many different forms in the execution of this concept. Thus different countries and different cultures structure their government in a variety of forms. These different forms do not define a democracy, rather the essential protection of ideas and voting; is the ultimate definition. In order to protect the ideas it is important that a system of laws exist to protect both ideas and choice of representatives.
Diversity of ideas is important to avoid the possibility of stagnation because of incestuous thinking. Laws are necessary to protect the minority, while the majority come to a center by integrating many philosophies into a progressive outcome. It is normal for people to hold different views about a particular issue. When these differences come together in a consensus, real progress is possible. Consensus is not compromise, it is a melding of ideas after productive dialogue on these differences. Including the ideas of a minority will ensure that all possible scenarios are considered, ensuring an effective world view.
Even when a two party systems exists, within each party there are differences, and often extreme points of view exist within a single party. Politics are composed of politicians and thus we experience the difficulties in arriving at consensus. Besides the philosophies of a political party the individuals within each party expands these differences. Until the individuals within a party can reach consensus, the party itself will be ineffectual. This is the normal process when citizens with a diversity of backgrounds and ideas seek to move a country and civilization forward.