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Timocracy refers to a system of government where political power is directly based on wealth - whereas democracy is based on the principle of one person one vote, timocracy is based on the principle of one dollar one vote. Until the 20th century, many Western democracies incorporated elements of timocracy, in the form of property qualifications to vote or hold office. Although it is still the case today that money can buy a lot of political power (lobbying, donations, advertising, etc.), there is no longer a direct link between one's wealth and one's ability to participate in governance.

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