Liberals, no matter classical or modern, believe in small state. As Thomas Paine put it: "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil". This concept links nicely with the idea of democracy, which literally means "rule by people". Liberals have defended democracy on the grounds that people must have a way of protecting themselves against the government and its actions. This type of democracy is also referred to as protective democracy. Moreover, democracy opens an ability for people to choose. In a pure democracy, for instance, people would vote on every ...view middle of the document...
It also encourages political education in order to make the best choice of the candidate, which links with the idea of reason and the core period in liberalism's history of enlightenment. By being rational and self-seeking, individuals will want the best for themselves, hence they will seek to vote for the candidate that suits their needs and beliefs best, In order to do so, they will have to read, debate or learn about them by other means, which will increase the overall intelligence of individuals and therefore help them achieve their full potential, which is what modern liberals believe is the main function of the government.
Talking about modern liberalism, they have also defended democracy on the grounds that it promotes pluralism in our society. Democracy gives many competing groups, such as political parties or pressure groups, a political voice, which connects those to the political system and hence maintains political stability. Stability is further promoted in terms of individuals: they all have a vote, and even if their candidate looses the election, a rational individual will understand that the candidate who won had the majority support.
In conclusion, liberals have defended democracy as it adheres to their core principles of individualism and reason, as well as their view of the role of the government.