I think this question got lost because of being dragged into the wrong thread but I would still like to hear an answer to this.
The following statements / conclusions are based on the public opinion and how it affects government policies.
Two examples were cited: The US upholding capital punishment in agreement with the public and European countries not implementing capital punishment even though the majority of the European public would support it.
So is Europe less democratic than the US just because we had two examples, incidently supporting the US side? Or isn’t it rather wrong to reach that conclusion since we can be sure that the USG has also made decisions against the public opinion before, hence the US cannot be the ‘reference’!?
What does the example make Germany (to pick one European country) if we consider that the German government gave aid to Iraq against the public opinion? As democratic as the US? More democratic? Or is it still less democratic?
IMHO it is nonsense to reach such a conclusion on those arguments, no matter if death penalty, aid, taxes etc.
Governments sometimes do or have to make decision against the public opinion, but the government is made of democratically elected leaders.
As such I believe we could agree there is no ‘less (or more) democratic’ and the above statements / conclusions are wrong.