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Questions tagged [democracy]

For questions about democracy, a system of government in many countries involving citizens voting, as opposed to dictatorships and other forms of government such as republicanism, where the people only have indirect authority through the ceding of power to elected representatives.

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65
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13answers
11k views

How can the influence of wealthy individuals on democratic processes be reduced?

This question is inspired by the discussion about lobbyism and free speech. There are two fundamental ideas in modern democracies that seem to contradict each other, while both being so fundamental ...
63
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7answers
13k views

Paying people not to vote at all

I have recently heard an idea from a local journalist that even surprised the moderator (greatly simplified): Pay some amount for people that do NOT vote Heuristically this should lead to better ...
60
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19answers
18k views

When is a democratic vote actually the wrong tool?

Democracy is defined as: Democracy is sometimes referred to as "rule of the majority". Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no ...
44
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9answers
15k views

What would stop a representative democracy becoming a dictatorship?

In a representative democracy, those elected pass laws for the country. If a political party had a majority in the relevant legislature(s), could that party use its majority to write a law that ...
38
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4answers
11k views

What did Kerry mean with “Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both”?

What did the Secretary of State mean by this dichotomous ultimatum? Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both. Why should it be incompatible? If England, Denmark and Greece ...
32
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3answers
6k views

What is the difference between democracy and ochlocracy?

The Wikipedia definition of democracy states: Democracy (Greek: δημοκρατία dēmokratía, literally "rule by people") is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their ...
30
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13answers
8k views

How can the common citizen defend democracy principles? [closed]

There is this question bugging me for a while now. I can't really state it other than the title of this question. What do I mean by that? It seems to me that, besides going to vote once every 4-5 ...
30
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2answers
750k views

What is the difference between parliamentary and presidential governments?

What are the main differences between the parliamentary system of government versus the presidential system? For example, Germany's parliamentary system versus Mexico's presidential system. I'm ...
29
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10answers
13k views

Can the U.S. technically be called an oligarchy and a democracy?

I thought theoretically the U.S. could be a democracy (because people have a say in the daily workings of the government) and an oligarchy ( the president, the Supreme Court, etc... are the only ones ...
29
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8answers
2k views

Is it possible to implement an electronic voting system which is as secure as pen-and-paper voting?

There is ongoing criticism of voting machines, due to the ease of manipulating the outcome of a vote that is counted digitally. I have heard the opinion that every computer-implemented voting ...
27
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9answers
17k views

Why don't US presidential candidates get thrown into jail by their opponent during election?

In Jakarta, Ahok and Anies are both running for gubernatorial election. One Anies supporter uses one of Ahok speeches to accuse him of blasphemy. Article: Ahok denies saying the Quran tricks people ...
26
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2answers
741 views

Has the Orange Revolution improved the fairness of Ukrainian elections according to independent observers?

In late 2004, the Orange Revolution took place in Ukraine after elections that were accompanied by widescale corruption and fraud. Initially, Yanukovych was declared the winner. The protests resulted ...
25
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15answers
7k views

What electoral mechanisms might prevent the rise of a demagogue?

I realize that this may be one of the intentions of the US Electoral College system. Its most obvious role is to prevent a candidate of purely local appeal from winning nationally, but another de-...
25
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4answers
1k views

Has range voting been successfully implemented anywhere?

To improve upon traditional democracy, various alternatives to the normal up down voting have been put forth such as range voting. (Range voting is a voting method for one-seat elections under which ...
23
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8answers
10k views

Why are there so few impeachments in western democracies and so many votes of no confidence?

Impeachment seems to be presidential democracy's equivalent of parliamentary democracies' votes of no confidence. Why such a large disparity in numbers of them then?
23
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5answers
1k views

What reforms have successfully avoided the issues of Gerrymandering?

In democracies like the United States, Gerrymandering to construct districts with artificial boundaries such that incumbents and their parties are favored to win has been a long standing issue. While ...
22
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7answers
2k views

Is there any possibility to have a democracy inherently discourage lobbying?

Can a democratic system be structured in a way that doesn't rely on ethics or brute-force, police-state-esque measures to disable lobbying? Is there a way to inherently make lobbying unattractive/...
22
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2answers
2k views

What is Israel's long-term plan in the West Bank?

A lot of liberals and other Palestine supporters make the following argument about Israel's control of the West Bank: Currently, the Palestinian people living in the Israeli-controlled territory in ...
22
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4answers
11k views

How does direct democracy compare to representative democracy?

Back in the olden days of Greece, direct democracy was practiced. All citizens could vote directly on every issue decided by the state. This is significantly different to the representative ...
21
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6answers
5k views

Why did democracy survive in India, whereas in most countries of the time it didn't?

I want to know why did democracy survive in India, whereas in other countries, especially in Africa, which gained independence around the same time, it didn't? What factors and reasons have been ...
21
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5answers
2k views

Is democracy failing nowadays? [closed]

Democracy, in the shortest form is defined as "Government by the people". In the first sight it looks very nice, as if "people together" will judge and assess, which government is good and ultimately ...
20
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6answers
4k views

Why don't politicians get fact checked immediately? [closed]

In this age of information and mobile phones with Google in our pocket, I ask myself, and hereby you: Why don't politicians get fact checked immediately? I guess that a lot of what a politician says ...
20
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7answers
4k views

What is the rationale for foreign interference in a democratic election being intrinsically bad?

In Sanders on Trump and the challenge for the left – full transcript (published in the Guardian, which was behind Operation Clark County), Sanders describe Russian interference in the US presidential ...
19
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2answers
2k views

What limitations to freedom of speech are there in the US and Canada?

Freedom of speech is understood to be fundamental in a democracy. What limitations to freedom of speech are there in the United States of America and in Canada? Is Holocaust denial an example?
19
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4answers
2k views

What was the largest popular vote election ever held?

What was the largest popular vote election ever held for a personally-held position? This means an election for an elected position, with people directly voting for the choice of candidates (e.g. US ...
18
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3answers
4k views

Does NATO membership require democracy?

The Telegraph reports that Erdoǧans post-coup purge may force NATO to suspend Turkish membership: This prompted John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, to warn that Turkey faced suspension from Nato ...
17
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3answers
2k views

What is the US 'Deep State' and what evidence is there for it?

I've heard whispers of a 'deep state' run by the Clintons or Obama or various liberals/democrats and I never really gave it much thought. It sounds kind of crazy - that said, I have to admit, I don't ...
17
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3answers
4k views

Is there a name for a voting system that is based on issues rather than people?

I'm not super familiar with the intricacies of the various voting systems, so forgive me if I'm way off in an assumption I have. However, in all election formats I know of, voters are expected to ...
16
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12answers
5k views

Do wrong beliefs threaten democracy? [closed]

According to this video (from @3:05 to 3:40), Neil deGrasse Tyson says believing in something that is wrong threatens democracy. But this... but this whole thing-- it's just a symptom of a larger ...
16
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4answers
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Why are stenographers still employed and present within many governmental chambers?

Yesterday a news story broke about a stenographer on the US Senate floor fainting which prompted a brief recess while she was being medically attended to. Hearing this, I started to wonder why ...
16
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4answers
8k views

Why do governments of developed countries care about mass protests?

In developing countries, a mass protest could reasonably end up in the local politicians finding themselves in jail or worse, such as what happened in 2011 to Qaddafi. On the other hand, the ...
16
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3answers
20k views

Why and how is the Vice President elected in U.S?

Why is the Vice President elected in the US? Why isn't he chosen by the President like any other secretary? Is there any important reason why the writers of the Constitution made that choice? How is ...
16
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5answers
2k views

Is a second EU Referendum undemocratic?

People often say a second referendum is undemocratic. The first referendum was partially based on incorrect/dishonest information. After over two years of the general public viewing the government ...
16
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3answers
25k views

Must all democratic countries have a constitution?

It seems to me that all democratic countries, e.g. republics and representative monarchies, also have a constitution of sorts. On the other hand, what defines a democratic country is the "power to ...
16
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4answers
4k views

Why is proportional representation not considered in any of the US states?

While the Americans agree that the current two-party system is broken, I have not heard any real voices on changing it in any State. States like California, New York or Texas, which send large ...
16
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1answer
714 views

Some reasons for failure of Uganda's no-party democracy

Uganda tried a non-partisan democratic system in 1986 (whereby political parties were constitutionally restricted via a public referendum) and in 2005 overwhelmingly voted to overturn this system. I'...
15
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2answers
3k views

Why there was no Marshall plan for 1990s Russia?

Just imagine the completely different world today if Russia were a part of Free World, member of NATO and a prosperous democracy, like Germany. Was it ever discussed, and if so, why wasn't it ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Why did Aristotle refuse democracy?

I've read a book about antique political systems and I read that Aristotle refused democracy because he didn't support the idea of the rule of the poor. Here's my two explanations of this statement: ...
14
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10answers
2k views

Has there ever been a national meritocracy?

Has there ever been a meritocracy at the scale of a nation? By meritocracy I mean a system of government in which the citizen's vote is weighted based upon the merit of the individual casting that ...
14
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3answers
4k views

Why do proportional representation voting systems not evolve to first past the post systems?

The first past the post voting system tends to favour a two-party system. Suppose an election is held using a proportional representation voting system. Then suppose that the two largest parties, ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Why is the polish PiS considered dangerous, but not the UK conservatives?

Both parties won an absolute majority of seat in the parliament of their respective countries, and that without winning an absolute majority of the votes, because of how the election system works. ...
14
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1answer
2k views

What is the most democratic Arab country?

Using measurements of majority-rule, human rights, liberties, gap between highest and lower classes, which is the most 'democratic' Arab country today?
14
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2answers
1k views

UK: Is there precedent for the government's e-petition site changing the direction of a government decision? [duplicate]

In 2006 the UK government implemented a website for 'e-petitions' to streamline the process of petitioning the government on specific issues. The problem I have with this system is that the most ...
14
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5answers
12k views

What is the difference between representative and parliamentary democracy?

In the case of "representative democracy", the common sense makes you think that you elect congressmen or speakers to represent your wishes, and in the "parliamentary democracy" you do almost the same;...
14
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2answers
391 views

Judicial Independence in Turkey

In the aftermath of the failed coup in Turkey nearly 3000 judges were "sacked" among them two members of the constitutional court (source for example this Washington Post article) as well as many ...
13
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11answers
4k views

What are the benefits/drawbacks of a weighted vote based upon federal taxes paid?

Alexander Fraser Tytler famously said: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Does banning of anti-democratic parties violate principles of democracy? [closed]

In recent years, due to problems of mass immigration in Europe, there's a rise of far-right parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary, BNP in Britain, NPD in Germany, etc. Governments ...
13
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1answer
417 views

Has there ever been a successful application of Liquid Democracy in recent (non-ancient) history?

While looking for the best application of a Democratic regime, people tend to look either at Athenian Democracy (as applied in Ancient Athens that is) or at Grassroots/Liquid Democracy (as supposedly ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Can the Chinese government system be considered a limited form of democracy?

According to Wikipedia the Communist Party of China has over 80 million members. It is about 6% of the population! This is more than the total membership in many (or most) western democracies. I'm ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Is there any democratic non-secular state?

I don't know any democratic non-secular state. And I think that this is impossible. Since if there is no separation between state and religion, it means that in such a democratic country the state ...