Tocqueville’s, Madison’s or J.S. Mill’s criticism of democracy as a ‘tyranny of the majority’ is therefore well founded. This has led to corrective institutions, such as rule of law, basic rights for individuals, federalism or particular autonomy rights for regions and for minority groups. A further corrective element is political power-sharing. Lijphart, already in the first versions of his theory, proposed that consensus democracy is better suited than majoritarian institutions for multiculturally segmented societies. The theoretical reason is obvious: consensus democracy gives societal minorities a chance to participate in political power and have a voice in the policies of the government which cannot be overheard.
-Swiss Democracy by Wolf Linder
What does overheard mean in this context?
According to Cambridge Dictionary overhear means:
- to hear what other people are saying without intending to and without their knowledge.