Standing committee- top leadership of chinese communist party, china"s ruling elite. Democracy- political system of mass participation, competitive elections and human and civil rights. Illiberal democracy- regimes that are elected but lack democratic qualities such as civil rights and limits on government. Referendum- a mass vote on an issue rather than for a candidate; a type of direct democracy. Representative democracy- one in which the people do not rule directly but through elected and accountable representatives. Caste- rigid, hereditary social class or group. Mandate- a representative carrying out the specific wishes of the public. Elites- the top or most influential people in a political system. Pluralism- the theory that politics is the interaction of many groups. Hierarchy- organized in a ranking of power from top to bottom as if on a ladder. Authoritarian- nondemocratic government but not necessarily totalitarian. Whig democracy- democracy for the few, typical early stages of democracy.