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View Diary: Unrepresentative Democracy − The House of Representatives and the American Vote Not Represented (147 comments)

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  •  But surely you're aware that Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    use this "We're a Republic, not a Demcoracy" argument to propagandize people into voting Republican.  This is indisputable.  

    I'm not disputing what Madison said.  I'm disputing the definition of Democracy as Direct Democracy only.  The concept of a system of government where the citizens govern via a vote of some kind must be called Democracy, & there can be subsets of it, so no, I disagree that we must discuss it exactly as Madison did.   What of Jefferson naming the party he organized the Democratic Republican Party?  Are we thus obligated to value Madison over Jefferson, or vice versa?

    I don't mean to say that calling our government a democracy is not an imprecise answer--it is imprecise--but it is accurate because we vote.  The most precise definition is a federal constitutionally limited democratic republic.  The republic form is not inherently democratic; ours is, but our founders did not create the notion of a republic generally.  It is certainly possible to have a republic without a vote, depending on how one defines it.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:19:46 AM PST

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    •  It is not accurate that voting makes (0+ / 0-)

      a government a democracy. They voted in Russia, and China, and Iraq, and Iran, and Nazi Germany, and ....

      There is only one qualification that makes a country a democracy, and that is that administrative power can be delegated and that transformative power cannot, is not.

      Our government delegates both kinds of power to our representatives. In fact, our constitution makes no distinction between these powers. Amazing, when you think about it.

      If you don't dispute what Madison said, then look at Federalist 10. You will see that he describes several functions that were known as shortcomings of republican governments. After defining these problems, Madison then tries to devise a way to solve them. He failed. But he declared victory. In the final, short paragraph of this important essay he said: "we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government."

      So he spent his time cataloging the "diseases" of republican government, and then he gave us a republican government. And if you read the essay in its entirety you will find that his proposed solutions had no hope of success because they delegated both administrative and transformative power to our representatives.

      There is only one government in history that understood this important consideration, and it did not have the "diseases" that Madison listed and that we have seen ever since.

      If you want to truly understand how ineffectual our republic has been, then make a list of the "diseases" that Madison described and check our own history. You will see outbreaks of these serious diseases everywhere.

      And, finally Madison gives the whole subterfuge away: he denigrated democracies but then says that it was very important that the new government preserve "the form and spirit" of democracies. In other words he said if we let them vote, they will think they have a democracy. And, behold, that is exactly what you think.

      You can look all of this up in Federalist 10.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 05:35:38 PM PST

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