According to Wikipedia the Communist Party of China has over 80 million members. It is about 6% of the population! This is more than the total membership in many (or most) western democracies. I'm interested if there are any studies about the practical implications of such high number of party members. Can the Chinese government system be considered a limited form of democracy? This 80 million people can more or less influence the course of the party. Of course the choice is limited between options available inside party, but is it so different than in western democracies? Here we have also the choice limited to the few options given by the biggest parties.
Of course it is hard to define the influence of the single person. But in both systems the most radical ideas are eliminated. This is, for example, introducing death sentence in Europe (though in many countries such as Poland the great part of society is for the death sentence, the majority of politicians is against and such idea is practically eliminated as an option). Many people whose political views are practically eliminated are calling the western democracy a despotic dictature - because in both systems they have no chance to turn their ideas in life.
In the both systems the individual can only influence the course of politics, when his political views are in the range of accepted ideas. The radical ideas are eliminated can be realized only by revolution. So, considering the possibility of influence the political decisions made, are those systems so different or rather similar?
Are there any scientific or publicistic studies and researches in that area?