While NED ’s work around the world is guided by the belief that freedom is a universal human aspiration, we know that democracy cannot be achieved through a single election and need not be based upon the model of the United States or any other particular country. Rather, democracy evolves according to the needs and traditions of diverse political cultures. NED helps strengthen the bond between indigenous democratic movements abroad and the people of the United States – a bond based on a common commitment to representative government and freedom as a way of life.
Some people believe that a country calling itself a democracy must be engaged in direct (or pure) democracy, in which the people of a state or region vote directly for policies, rather than elect representatives who make choices on their behalf. People who follow this line of reasoning hold that the United States is more properly described as a republic , using the following definition of that word: ”a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.”