Minority Rights The flipside of majority rule is that the majority does not have unlimited power. In a democracy, the rights of the minority must also be protected, even at the expense of overriding the will of the majority. The minority always has the right to speak out against the majority, for example. Similarly, the minority cannot be arrested or jailed for disagreeing or voting against the majority. Without minority rights, majority rule would easily evolve into tyranny of the majority, in which the majority would ignore the basic rights of the minority. Speaking for the Majority Because of the power of the majority, political groups often claim to speak for the majority even if they do not actually do so. Making such a claim gives the group some legitimacy. Many authoritarian dictators, for example, hold rigged elections in order to claim popular support and legitimacy even if the election results are fabricated. International
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