The Athenian version was what is known today as a direct democracy. In a direct democracy, people do not vote for or elect representatives to vote on their behalf. Instead, the people voted on legislation, laws, and bills in their own right. This system, in which almost every individual had a voice, ensured that the leaders did what was best for the common man. I wrote a really good paper on this topic for my history class. Let me know if you're interested in more stuff about Athenian democracy!