Two of the defining aspects of liberal democracy are the concepts
of tolerance and pluralism. These manifest themselves with the
co-existence of differing political views. Such viewpoints then
possess the opportunity to compete for political power when
periodic elections are held within this system. So in the USA, the
Democrats and Republicans compete for power. In the UK, the Labour
Party and the Conservatives compete for power. In Germany, the
Social Democrats and Christian Democrats continually compete for
In essence, this does
lead to a "free market," so to speak, of views that are seeking to
form a government and a market of opinions that a voter in the
electorate can choose from. Nevertheless, one is often choosing as
to how much force is exerted against him or her and not choosing
whether force should be eliminated.
In virtually all liberal
democracies, political parties advocate some kind of state. The
presence of government is force, partly, since it denotes
monopoly. Can you choose your police protection? Can you choose
which armed forces would safeguard you from foreign attack? No,
you cannot. At most, one can only choose about the level of
force that's applied.
Some parties for example
might favour lowering taxes or deregulating the economy.
Nonetheless, the force is always there. Few, if any, liberal
democracies possess parties that advocate a market anarchist
position. Essentially all parties desire to maintain the statist
Liberal democracies are also characterised by upholding the rights
of the citizen, so as to place a curb on governmental powers. Of
course, libertarians would welcome such a thing, in principle.
However, in many liberal democracies, it's not as inspiring as one