Originally posted by djpaec
Why do people throw around this word Democracy? We are not a Democracy. Where in teh constitution does it say that. WE ARE A REPUBLIC.
But democracy is what makes us a Republic!
Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system. It is derived from the
Greek δημοκρατία ([dimokratia] (help·info)), "popular government" which was coined from δήμος (dēmos), "people" and
κράτος (kratos), "rule, strength" in the middle of the 5th-4th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek
city-states, notably Athens following a popular uprising in 508 BC. In this form, there were no defined human rights or legal restraints upon the
actions of assembly, making it the first instance of "illiberal democracy."
In political theory, democracy describes a small number of related forms of government and also a political philosophy. Even though there is no
universally accepted definition of 'democracy', there are two principles that any definition of democracy includes. The first principle is that
all members of the society have equal access to power and the second that all members enjoy universally recognized freedoms and liberties.
There are several varieties of democracy some of which provide better representation and more freedoms for their citizens than others. However,
if any democracy is not carefully legislated to avoid an uneven distribution of political power with balances such as the separation of powers, then a
branch of the system of rule is able to accumulate power in a way that is harmful to democracy itself. The "majority rule" is often
described as a characteristic feature of democracy, but without responsible government it is possible for the rights of a minority to be abused by the
"tyranny of the majority". An essential process in representative democracies are competitive elections, that are fair both substantively and
procedurally. Furthermore, freedom of political expression, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are essential so that citizens are informed
and able to vote in their personal interests.
Popular sovereignty is common but not a universal motivating philosophy for establishing a democracy. In some countries, democracy is based on the
philosophical principle of equal rights. Many people use the term "democracy" as shorthand for liberal democracy, which may include additional
elements such as political pluralism, equality before the law, the right to petition elected officials for redress of grievances, due process, civil
liberties, human rights, and elements of civil society outside the government. In the United States, separation of powers is often cited as a
supporting attribute, but in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the dominant philosophy is parliamentary sovereignty (though in practice
judicial independence is generally maintained). In other cases, "democracy" is used to mean direct democracy. Though the term "democracy" is
typically used in the context of a political state, the principles are also applicable to private organizations and other groups.
Democracy has its origins in ancient Greece. However other cultures have significantly contributed to the evolution of democracy such as the
American Indians ( Weatherford 1990) Ancient Rome, Europe, and North and South America. Democracy has been called the "last form of
government" and has spread considerably across the globe. Suffrage has been expanded in many jurisdictions over time from relatively narrow
groups (such as wealthy men of a particular ethnic group), but still remains a controversial issue with regard to disputed territories, areas with
significant immigration, and countries that exclude certain demographic groups.
We no longer have Democracy therfore we can not be a republic!
[edit on 4-11-2008 by lightinthedark33]