Sunday, January 9, 2011

Do you know the difference between a democracy and republic?

Blimey1 says:

It is possible for a country to be a monarchy and democratic, as in countries such as the UK and the Netherlands. The head of state is a hereditary monarch but the legislature is democratically elected. Because the head of state has little real power, this can make them more democratic than republics, especially republics where the constitution concentrates a lot of power on an elected president who cannot easily be removed if that power is abused.

None. Nothing. Zip. Nada. No democracy has ever operated without a constitution so the common statement that a democracy is a tyranny of the majority (two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch) and republic is governed by a constitution is nonsense. See "The Athenian Constitution" by Aristotle. Every "democracy" since (and maybe before) then has had a constitution the common definition of a democracy has therefore never happened so the two terms are de facto interchangeable.The only reason people think there's a difference is because they're largely ignorant.