After the December, 2012 constitutional referendum in Egypt we find that electoral success may not translate into popular support. So how do democracies come to diverge from populism?
Democratic governments claim that the will of the populace is represented in government decision-making and policy. Yet historically democracy has had two broad variants. One variation, widespread until the early 19th century, was where ordinary people by force of numbers govern, so that democracy (sometimes known as popular democracy) is shaped by a relation between all the people and a form of government. A second now more commonly accepted form is where carefully selected representatives govern. The claim of electoral democracies to full democracy is based on the second form, which unfortunately is now widely associated with democracy to the exclusion of the earlier and still popular sense.