Thread: Democracy V. Republic
January 25th, 2009, 03:22 AM #1
Democracy V. Republic
We've had more than a few comments presenting the idea that "the government must obey the people." or "The people have voted!" or "majority rules" and justifying Christian influence in government action, "the U.S. was built on Christian principles so by this argument the founding fathers would approve and thus the Constitutional interpretation would favour the Christian view on this issue."
An example in general of my response to this line of thinking has been"You aren't living in a country that has a direct democracy nor would you want to although this is what you are advocating."Advocating can be changed to "claiming" depending on the context of the original comment.
I've used different terminology that may have been a bit confusing lacking the eloquence of a learned law scholar, but I knew what I meant, just didn't quite say it right but all the principles were there."They care that in the future a direct democratic vote might come for their rights some day too!"One final example of a response using correct words but amounting to ambiguous terminology but having my heart in the right place,This is an example of direct democracy in action in that "majority rule" poses a threat to individual liberty. So much for the principles of a democratic republic.I hope I’ve never made the mistake of saying the U.S. is a republic and at worst claimed the U.S. is a limited democracy. You’ll find out why later in the article I link to.
So what is the best terminology or brand to use when describing our democracies?
(which are very similar in principle and their differences not really a concern.)
I'm lay without a doubt but I, like many others like to try to assert ideas as if they should be common knowledge and are in fact accepted standards of thought. I stand by my example responses in principle and in wording that are typical of my response to the "majority rules" line of thought although I will agree that they aren't the best words to use. I figure "the majority rules" line of thought must be extinguished once and for all so we can all be on the same page.
The correct term for our style of democracy is “Constitutional Republic” and this is the term I will use from now on when responding to "majority rules" comments.
What provoked this thread?
A very enlightening article posted by Jonathan Rowe at the Positive Liberty’s legal blog site
Positive Liberty » Democracy V. Republic
PS. The site just went down while I was typing out this thread opener. It’ll be up by morning I’m sure. It may even be a network problem which has been happening quite a bit lately. It’s a good article on the evolution of democracy leading to the present day Constitutional Democracy we all enjoy. 10 minute read at worst. Worth the wait.When those who believe in any of the available gods understand why they deny all other gods, they should come to understand why atheists lack a belief in theirs.
January 25th, 2009, 03:29 AM #2
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that was far less a "good read" on government form and more a slam against one Mr. David Barton and his inaccurate statements.Good job, friend-of-friends!
January 25th, 2009, 03:34 AM #3
I know and I used more generic examples in my first paragraph. The rest of what I'm talking about is in the article.
Last edited by Beemer; January 25th, 2009 at 03:37 AM.When those who believe in any of the available gods understand why they deny all other gods, they should come to understand why atheists lack a belief in theirs.
January 25th, 2009, 08:50 AM #4
Last I checked, the first three words of the constitution were, "We the people..." The constitution describes a representative democracy or democratic republic. There is no dichotomy between democracy and republic.
Obviously, Canada, which is legally described as a constitutional monarchy, does not have a discrete document defined as the constitution, but rather depends on disparate acts of the British and Canadian Parliaments.
January 25th, 2009, 01:13 PM #5
Yes and "We the people..." are bound by the rule of law as is your government representatives and President, as set down by your constitution. You didn't actually complete your contention if there was one in your first sentence.
Statute of Westminster, 1931 removed legislative authority of Parliament in Great Britain over its Dominions, Canada being one of the Dominions at that time. From there it was all downhill for British influence, act by act repealing British legislative influence (British North America Acts)in Canada.
Fast forwarding, as of 1982 we have a ratified Constitution which includes 11 different acts, 1 being the charter of rights and freedoms. It seems you are talking from pre 1931 historical references. The only binding reference that can be made is in our style and form of government as the only British influence (dependency). The Queen is referenced only symbolically out of respect for historical heritage. We are completely sovereign, separate from British rule as of her signing of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Talking about Canada as a Constitutional Monarchy is both legally accurate and disingenuous in your application lacking any historical detail, quite possibly on purpose, hopefully only due to ignorance of the Canada situation. Since 1931 we have had the powers to create and amend the Constitution of Canada. Yes we have a document that is legally referenced as the Constitution of Canada. The formerly known, British North America Acts (your reference, disparate acts of the British and Canadian Parliaments) became completely null and void in 1982 with the signing of the Constitution Act, 1982 which is the Constitution of Canada.
Let’s keep this limited to the States because Canada’s Constitution is a bad example of a firmly based set of Constitutional laws considering the “not withstanding” (Swiss cheese) clause. I was going to mention this limitation of the discussion to U.S. principles because of the complications of Canadian law and parliamentary procedures and Crown implications and now I wish I had.When those who believe in any of the available gods understand why they deny all other gods, they should come to understand why atheists lack a belief in theirs.
January 25th, 2009, 03:57 PM #6
January 25th, 2009, 04:29 PM #7
January 25th, 2009, 05:50 PM #8
As usual you have failed at even making a point in your comments. What was your point?
Lets see your I.D. to make sure you are of legit age to be a member of techimo.
January 26th, 2009, 04:24 PM #9
Ron Paul agrees with me a well.A constitutional republic is a state where the head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over citizens. In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative, and judicial powers are separated into distinct branches and the will of the majority of the population is checked by protections for individual rights so that no individual or group has absolute power. The fact that a constitution exists that limits the government's power, makes the state constitutional. That the head(s) of state and other officials are chosen by election, rather than inheriting their positions, and that their decisions are subject to judicial review makes a state republican.
Unlike a pure democracy, in a constitutional republic, citizens are not governed by the majority of the people but by the rule of law.Constitutional Republics are a deliberate attempt to hold in check the threat of mobocracy thereby protecting dissenting individuals from the tyranny of the majority by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population. The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who govern within limits of overarching constitutional law rather than the popular vote having legislative power itself. John Adams defined a constitutional republic as "a government of laws, and not of men."Also, the power of government officials is checked by allowing no single individual to hold executive, legislative and judicial powers. Instead these powers are separated into distinct branches that serve as a check and balance on each other. A constitutional republic is designed so that "no person or group [can] rise to absolute power."
The original framers of the United States Constitution were notably cognizant of what they perceived as a danger of majority rule in oppressing freedom and liberty of the individual. For example, James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, advocates a constitutional republic over a democracy to protect the individual from the majority. The framers carefully created the institutions within the Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights. They kept what they believed were the best elements of majority rule. But they were mitigated by a constitution with protections for individual liberty, a separation of powers.
Constitutional Republic vs, Democracy | Ron Paul Wins! | Campaign for Liberty at the Daily Paul
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