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American Democracy Essay

Democracy is a political arrangement that, at its most basic, demands that there be collective decision making and equality in the mechanisms of coalition building and deliberation (Christiano, p.1, 2008). The strictest definition would imply that decisions are made directly by the citizens and no electoral process is employed to select legislative representatives who would, in turn, make decisions for the citizens (Christiano, p. 2, 2008). Where representatives are elected to make decisions on behalf of the electorate, such a system is defined as a republic. Although a republic system is not entirely a pure democracy, it is built on democratic principles and normative theory would argue that this distinction is irrelevant as it can be accommodated into the very definition of democracy: practical democracy can involve the election of representatives or it can involve the direct decision-making powers of a citizen class (Christiano, pp.2-4, 2008). In fact, democracy, and its more practical offshoot republicanism, both demand that there be equal political opportunity and voice and a government responsive to the demands of its citizens.

Jul 31, 2012
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