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Democracy vs republic

A democracy is a type of government that enacts the will of the majority. In a democracy, all the citizens have a vote. The will of the majority rules the country, there is no limit to what that will may be. Even laws that deny certain basic human rights may be enacted as long as it is the will of the majority. The minority must acquiesce to the rule of the majority, there is no protection for the minority in a strict democracy. Related words are democrat, democratic, democratization. The word democracy comes from the Greek word demokratia, which means popular government.

A republic is a type of government that is based on a constitution, bill of rights or charter. In a republic, all the citizens have a vote. The will of the majority generally rules the country, but there is a limit to the powers of this majority rule. Laws must not contradict basic human rights or the tenets put forth in the constitution, bill of rights or charter. The minority is protected from the majority in a republic. Related words are republican, republicanism. The word republic comes from the Latin word respublica which means public interest or the state. Remember, in a strict democracy, there is no limit to the power of the majority. In a republic, a set of ideals and tenets limits the power of the majority or any group of citizens. While many governments around the world are referred to as democracies, in the strictest sense they are actually democratic republics.


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Examples

Many Britons who cast their vote to leave the European Union last week say they did so because their democracy was under threat, hijacked by faceless “Eurocrats” in Brussels. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Clement described the vote as a “magnificent exercise in democracy,” before calling on the Liberal government to hold a referendum before changing Canada’s electoral system. (The National Post)

“With this behind us, we can refocus on our mission to ensure the next generation of Texans understand and appreciate our unique history as a sovereign republic.” (The Dallas Morning News)

Thanks to an extra-time, game-tying penalty-kick, the Czech Republic enters its third game with a real chance of advancing, as well as finishing second. (The New York Times)

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