Saturday, March 21, 2015

Democracy vs. Republic

Democracy vs. Republic

The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications for minority rights. Both forms of government tend to use arepresentational system where citizens vote to elect politicians to represent their interests and form the government. However, in a republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters. In a "pure democracy," the majority is not restrained in this way and can impose its will on the minority.
Most modern nations are democratic republics with a constitution, which can be amended by a popularly elected government.

Comparison chart

Democracy

Republic

Definition
is ruled by the omnipotent majority. In a Democracy, an individual, and any group of individuals composing any minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of the majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.A republic is a representative democracy with a written Constitution of basic rights that protect the minority from being completely unrepresented or overridden by the majority.
Constraints on the government
No; the majority can impose its will on the minorityYes; the majority cannot take away certain inalienable rights
Philosophy
All eligible citizens get equal say in decisionsAll eligible citizens get equal say in decisions with protection of unalienable rights to individuals.
Famous Examples
Classical Greece, RomeUnited States Of America
Sovereignty is held by
the whole population (as a group)the people (individuals)
Common confusion in the USA
People commonly confuse direct democracy with representative democracy. The US officially has a representative style, though many have suggested the US is closer to an oligarchy or plutocracy.The US is actually a Republic. It is governed by rule of law. The elected are bound by oath to the written governing limits (ie constitution) yet vote "together" and create laws to address concerns of the represented in a democratic way

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