One of the earliest liberal justifications for democracy was founded on consent. The idea that citizens must have a means of protecting themselves from the encroaching government as liberals see liberal democracy as the ultimate protection against tyranny.
In the 17th century John Locke developed a limited theory of protective democracy, voting rights shoud be extended to the propertied, to defend their natural rights against government. During American revolution, the idea of ‘no taxation without representation’ was taken up. Utalitarianism theorists as Bentham and Mill developed notion of democracy as form of protection for the individual into a case for universal suffrage.
However a drawback of democracy is that it may mean that the government have to intervene more, something that classical liberals oppose.
A further reason of why liberals may be wary of democracy is that all power, even ‘power people’ tends to corrupt innately self-seeking humans. This was first developed by German socialist Michels, whose ‘Iron law of oligarchy’ states that all complex organizations, regardless of how democratic they originally are when constituted, eventually