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  • I can't tell you how many times I have told people we are not a "democracy" but a "republic". *sigh*
    • Why does that matter? No offense, but I've always viewed that as a pedantic point that merely detracts from the argument at hand.

      • Why does that matter?

        As Madison wrote in Federalist 10, "The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended."

        Basically, he was saying the difference is representation. Of course, today, we mean "representative democracy" when we say "democracy." But are those the o
        • by Ovid (2709) on 2005.05.16 16:37 (#40449) Homepage Journal

          Yeah, as I posted in a follow-up, I was far too hasty in asking that question and I'm rightfully taking my lumps for it. What gets my goat is how often I hear conversation along the following lines:

          Person1: we shouldn't have to put up with XXX in a democracy!
          Person2: we're a republic, not a democracy.

          All too often the latter statement is a knee-jerk comment and sidesteps the actual issue rather than a attempt a legitimate discussion. Ironically, my response was a knee-jerk comment in turn.

          • But I am never one to avoid discussion of Republics when given the chance, so I don't care if you DID post a disclaimer, you opened the door and I stepped in! :-)
          • I actually thought that is what you were referring to but thought I would give you an opening to expand on your thought. : )
          • Yeah, as I posted in a follow-up, I was far too hasty in asking that question and I'm rightfully taking my lumps for it.

            I don't think you should take any lumps for it. That question befuddled me for years. As I noted, I finally understand the distinction people were trying to make, though I'm still not satisfied that Republics are the be-all and end-all answer to the preservation of liberty.

            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers