Are we a Republic, Democracy or a combination of both?
The terms republic and democracy have both been used to describe our country. Our Pledge of Allegiance even references the term republic. If we are a republic we must understand the type of republic we are as there several around the world. The point of this article is to answer the question of whether we are a republic or a democracy or a combination of both.
To begin there are several different types of republics in existence around the world as there are several different types of democracies. Examples of republics include constitutional, federal, parliamentary, crowned and a capitalist republic. Examples of democracies include consensus, deliberative, direct and representative democracy. Understanding each of these examples will help us to decide as individuals what type of country we are.
A constitutional republic in simple terms includes a head of state and other officials as representatives of the people. They are governed by the constitutional law binding the government’s power over citizens. A federal republic is basically a federation of states that does not have a monarch. Understanding the term parliamentary with respect to a republic is a type of government that has no clear-cut separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.
Two other forms of republics include a crowned and a capitalist republic. A crowned republic is a form of constitutional monarchy where the monarch’s role is strictly ceremonial and has little to do with government operations. A capitalist republic is one which is the complete reverse of Marxist thought. Other types of republics exist in the world but the ones identified in this and the preceding paragraph appears to be the most common. Typically a republic form of government is one where the head of state is a President.
The following paragraphs will identify various types of democracies followed by a conclusion on whether we are a republic, a democracy or a combination of both. The first type of democracy to be discussed is a consensus democracy. It is a type of democracy where consensus is important in the political culture and is aimed at preventing domination by one group as opposed to the remaining bodies. Another example of this form of government utilizes the term deliberative involving public deliberation is a common characteristic to establish legitimate lawmaking. A direct democracy is where the people directly make the decisions as opposed to a representative democracy which is founded on individuals representing the people.
The characteristics of a republic and democracy type of government have some similarities. In coming to a conclusion in reference to the question of this article we are a combination of both a republic and a democracy. The manner in which republics and democracies function have basic elements which can be seen embodied in our form of government. We are basically a representative type of government which fits the definition of a constitutional republic and a representative democracy. This does not take away from the fact that our Pledge of Allegiance refers to our form of government as a republic.
There are other similarities between a democracy and a republic not discussed here. We must understand our form of government is unlike others throughout the world with regards to the rights we have as citizens. When our government was formed our founding fathers basically took the better of these two types of government and created a combination both of them. In this election year we will make decisions that will decide our path to the future. Let us make the right ones to put us on the path to recovery from the economic downturn we have been experiencing. The type of government we have provides us as citizens to choose the path our country will take whether it is to continue on with the present course or take another path. Whatever we decide it may well change our country forever.