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Maybe "democracy" does not smack as much of plutocracy and the Roman Empire?

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-03-13 07:40 AM
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Maybe "democracy" does not smack as much of plutocracy and the Roman Empire?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-04-13 06:28 AM
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1. Isn't a constitutional republic a
representative democracy? Seems to me that it is.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-04-13 07:56 AM
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2. A constitutional republic is only a republic established by a constitution, as opposed to
Edited on Fri Oct-04-13 08:10 AM by No Elephants
by a monarch or dictator or some such. How we came to a republic does not affect whether we are a republic or not.

Beyond that, I don't really know how to respond to your question because I have no idea what the difference is between a "representative democracy" and a "republic."

Since electing representatives and a president is the very essence of a republic; and the very essence of a democracy = direct voting by citizens, without any representatives in between, I believe "representative democracy" is not a valid term. Or, if it is, I don't know what it means.

Are you saying that the theoretical ability to adopt and amend the Constitution makes the US more of a democracy?

If so, that is indeed a difference from Ancient Rome's republic. However, it goes to how our form of government is brought into existence. Once brought into existence, though, our form of government is a republic, based on everything in my OP.

Even as to the Constitution, though, the only way to amend the Constitution is to have Congress initiate an amendment and state legislatures to vote on adopting it. It is up to each state whether to even allow citizens to vote on constitutional amendments and adoption goes by number of states ratifying, not number of citizens voting for ratification. That is more of a federal system (state govts vs. central govt) than it is a democracy.

So, still, no provision for a direct vote by a citizen, except as to electing representatives to the House. We don't even vote for President directly, although, as a practical matter, I pity the poor fool elector who tries to vote against the citizens of his or her state.

BTW, I will also say this: You cannot go on dictionary definitions alone because dictionaries are based on common usage and there has been so much talk--loose talk, IMO--not only in the US, but around the world, about various countries being democracies that dictionary definitions have changed. However, when the Framers set up our system of government, they considered only two models, Ancient Greek's democracy and Ancient Rome's Republic and they opted for the latter. +

Not only did they opt for Ancient Rome as a model, but most of the Framers were very opposed to democracy, considering it mob rule, especially Madison. That is why the Senate has so many more powers than the House. (Recalling that, originally, only state legislatures elected Senators. Also recall, that, at the time of adoption of the Constitution, only 6% of the population was eligible to vote--the whitest, richest, male-est 6%, maybe the same people we now call the 1%, only our 1% does finally include some people of color and some women, Oprah being an example of both.)



I also take the sources I cited in the OP "at their word," especially the Constitution itself.

If I guess wrong as to what you mean by the term "constitutional democracy", you will have to give me some kind of clue as to how you think a "representative democracy" differs from the definition of a plain ole "republic" that I posted in the OP. Also why you think the Constitution itself says our form of government is "republican" (small R) as opposed to saying it is a "representative democracy."

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-04-13 08:36 AM
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3. I could just bring it all down to plutocracy.
Edited on Fri Oct-04-13 08:42 AM by No Elephants
It's no accident that we are a plutocracy. That is pretty much what we were set up to be.

And, of late, we are not even a plutocracy; we are a plutonomy because government (the suffix "cracy") is nowhere near as important as the economy of the plutocrats

And that is even before TPP comes down on our heads, when the plutocrats will get to override pesky state laws. (Even the Koch's can't buy every state election.)
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