A democratic (again, the form of government, not the party) form of government is a ‘Rule by Omnipotent Majority’ in which the rights of the minority do not exist. This is true whether it be a Direct Democracy, or a Representative Democracy.
In the direct type all decisions are reached by a majority vote (of at least half-plus-one). Under a Representative Democracy the people elect representatives to the national legislature and it functions by a similar vote of at least half-plus-one in making all legislative decisions. In either form the majority has absolute power.
Law is whatever the government determines it to be. The restraint is upon the individual instead of government. Rights are privileges and permissions granted by government and can be rescinded by government because the governing body is that of the majority.
Freedom in a democracy is contingent on the people knowing what freedom is and consistent application of it; if the people – more specifically if the majority – don’t know and understand this, a democracy becomes as oppressive as a dictatorship or monarchy.
A republican (still talking about government, not party) form of government is a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution which is adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment. An important aspect (and what separates it from a democracy) of a republic is that it is designed to strictly control the majority and protect the God-given rights and liberties of the individual.
Law is whatever the charter or constitution determines it to be, and not subject to majority vote (though to ratification). Restraint is upon the government instead of the individual. Rights are not seen as privileges or permissions granted by government and cannot be rescinded by government.
Republics tend to be free, not because of elections by citizens but because they are bound by a constitution or charter, which limits the power of the governing body. That people vote for representatives has nothing to do with freedom. It is the logical rationality of the constitution and people’s willingness to live by said constitution that maintains freedom.