General discussion



By TheBooManChu ·
There is something that has been bothering me for quite a while now, so I am throwing it out just to seewhere it goes. It is a matter of semantics for the most part, but I wonder sometimes if it doesn't affect people more deeply than being just a word.

I have read through the Constitution more than once, and have never once seen the word "Democracy". Now I have not taken any "political science" classes or the like, in fact I am probably somewhat ignorant on the subject, but from what I understand this country was originally established as a "Representative Republic". Bejamin Franklin said (source unknown)"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote".

I am interested in what other points of view there are on this!

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Democratic Republic

by TheChas In reply to Democracy

The key is that the US is a Democratic Republic.

Most voting and elections in the US are done in a democratic manner. There are some exceptions such as 'supper' majority requirements for some issues.

The "key" to the US system is the checks and balances built into the 3 branches of the Federal Government.


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True Democracy is unworkable

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Democracy

As the others explained the USA is a democratically elected representative republic. A true democracy requires every citizen to be involved in the running of govt.

The last time a true democracy was established and working was on medium sized farms with about 30 to 70 workers. Any policy decision etc was made at a meeting of everyone, then they usually were on a majority rules basis. This cannot work with extremely large organisations or ones over a large geographic area as the communications lag would ensure too many decisions were way to late to be of any use. Thus the tendency to representatives who are, hopefully, knowledgeable enough to do the job.

BTW a true socialist/communist govt is supposed to work by everyone discussing issues until they have a full agreement/consensus of all its members. It has never been seen to work above two people.

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The Internet ...

by jardinier In reply to Democracy

It was in a science fiction movie that I saw a model for true democracy. All the citizens had access to a television network. They elected leaders, but any citizen could challenge any proposed new legislation.

This was then open to debate, monitored by a computer which was able to distinguish between emotive and rational responses. At the conclusion of the debate, everyone voted electronically and the majority opinion, after suggesting ammendments if necessary, accepted or rejected the proposed legislation.

With the rapid advance of IT, I can see that such a system could be viable even in my own lifetime: at least in developed countries.

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Internet democracy

by john_wills In reply to The Internet ...

Then perhaps we'd always be so involved in politics that we'd do no actual work... The advantage of representative democracy is that we have someone else doing the debating for us; in many states, including California, there is a kind of political superego via referenda, but everyone is so bored half the people don't bother to vote. Without government our homes would not be safe; with government we are too concerned with our homes to be bothered with government.

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Yes and No

by TheBooManChu In reply to Internet democracy

"The advantage of representative democracy is that we have someone else doing the debating for us;"

You are correct in that statement, however there are also disadvantages. One being, when our representatives do not represent us accurately, but choose to vote based on their own agendas. Yes it is up to us to vote someone else in next term, but as you also said:

"half the people don't bother to vote"

"Without government our homes would not be safe;"

It is not the Governments' (Federal, State, or Local) role to keep us safe in our own homes.(there is absolutely no law compelling law enforcement officers to respond to any call we make to them)(they cannot be sued for failing to do their "duty") It is our own responsibility to keep ourselves secure, hence the 2nd Amendment. I do not intend to call the cops first thing if I wake up with some stranger sneaking around my house in the middle of the night (or day for that matter). I will immediately do what is neccessary and my responsibility to protect my family. Then I'll call the cops and sort everything out.

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by john_wills In reply to Yes and No

The purpose of government is precisely to secure such God-given rights as those to life, to liberty and to property. As a human institution, government sometimes fails, but that is a somewhat different question. In the absence of government we wouldhave to do our own best to secure our rights, and our right to do so remains unchanged in a state of government. As mere humans we would fail by ourselves and we still fail with government, but not so badly.
As for the Second Amendment, please don't be stupid: you know as well as I do that lack of gun control is dangerous to human rights. Think of the USSR under Stalin; compare the U.S. to Canada. I am not saying that the Second Amendment is the sole cause of the high U.S. crime rate - prosecutorial immunity is surely more important - but it is contributory.

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Another great Sci-Fi on democracy

by admin In reply to The Internet ...

The episode: "Free For All" in the Television series: "The Prisoner"

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own... I am not a number. I am a free man."

~Be Seeing You! :)

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