Plato viewed democracy for its populism, which he believed was nothing more than majority ruling. In democracy, nothing can prevent the majority from punishing an indesirable minority. Regardless of whether modern democracies have protection in place to prevent them, they are still not always precise. Considering that representation is supposed to be about majority vote, it basically means that minority groups can easily get the shaft.
Democracy moves slowly due to debate. Time may pass between the time a population decides a given measure is necssary and when it formally becomes law. The larger democracies get, the more difficult the voting and tallying process becomes. In other words, the larger a system gets, the less realistic it is for each person to voteon a specific decision. Even in very small democracies, there can be a problem with keeping people informed and interested in the issues at hand. Of course, it’s great that the people get to decide and have the freedom to, except for the fact that few have the education or pay enough attention to make an informed decision while voting.
Looking at the government intself, however, due to the fact that parties contain large amounts of people serving when making a decision, federal regulation, law and infrastructure take forever to implement as opposed to dictatorship, where one leader is in charge. In most cases, most democratic representatives move to different ideologies or lobbyist groups, meaning that party policies keep politicians from actually making representative decisions for the public.
Despite all of its imperfections, however, democracy is favoured over other systems of government because it is seen as fair and allows the general population to have a say in what is made into law and who is in government. Changes in government occur without the need of violence, because at the end of every election term, the ruling party must compete against the others for power, preventing one party from dominating. The electoral campaining system allows members of society to know who and what they are voting for, and representative democracy ensures that the voices of the constituents are heard (to a certain degree.) In democracy, as opposed to communism where the wealth is redistributed so that every person is given equal shares of the benefits, each person controlls their own chosen profession, and therefore salary. As well, democracies leave people free to choose their beliefs, whereas in communist societies such choices are not available.
Democracy is generally preferred over dictatorship or communism in the western world because, despite its faults, the public is essentially in charge, rather than succumbing to the will of one leader.