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Democracy is a term that is considered the underlying-principle of the US government. The government system is instituted on the constitution of USA that was initially written in the year 1787 (Bagossy, 2008). A constitution ought to create a government’s democratic system; democracy is founded on the theory of same/equal constitutional rights i.e. all citizens having equal rights when it comes to their government, with no prejudice or unfairness. The notion of democracy also incorporates the thought that the chance to partake in decisions is extensively shared all through the society.
The debate concerning the original constitution has heated over the years and many scholars have used several theories of democracy to analyse this concept. Pluralist theory claims that shared interests passes representation to all as groups contend and offset one another; Elite theory on the other hand, asserts that a small number of groups (especially the rich) have greatest power. Hyperpluralist theory emphasizes that numerous clusters are receiving too much of what they want, thus bringing forth a government policy that is typically incongruous, and that lacks direction. In accordance with pluralist theory, there is winning and losing however, groups do not lose or win at all times.
Pluralists never deny that some are stronger when compared to others or that contending interests do not at all times get the same hearing, but they assert that lobbying is always open to all and should not be considered a setback (Bagossy, 2008). There is no group that is likely to be too central and overriding, and all legal groups have the ability of affecting public policy. Elite theorists on the other hand state that quite few people, significant groups, and institutions hold actual power. The government is controlled by a small number of big interests that care specifically for themselves. In this case, interest groups are awfully unfair when it comes to power; therefore, the dominance and power elites hold shows that pluralist theory does not precisely describe the authenticity and realism of US politics (Bagossy, 2008).
Hyperpluralist theorists repeatedly identify the government’s policy that is related with tobacco as an illustration of liberalism; an interest group (Lynch, 2005). A democratic government is ought to base judgments and decisions by what the larger part of that society settles on. Using the theories’ affirmed qualifications i.e. equal constitutional rights, extensively shared participation, and accepted vote, it is easy to come up with a definition, which can be utilized to determine what ways was the original constitution democratic and undemocratic, functional and dysfunctional. The original US constitution was undemocratic in several ways. For instance, the shortcomings in matters to do with slavery, suffrage, Presidential elections, senators selection, senate equivalent representation, power of judiciary, and congressional authority (Lynch, 2005).
To begin with, the original constitution had not banned slavery nor did it sanction the congress to ban it. This issue of slavery was not also resolved for a while in spite of the being there of the original constitution (Hamilton, 2004). It is notable that this issue of slavery existed in the US for a long time together with the issue of racial prejudice. The original constitution does not have an order that gives the right of voting/suffrage. The citizens were not the ones who chose the senators, they were chosen by the legislatures of the state in which they would select two senators for their individual state.
Presently, people chose the senators and the rule of representation has been broaden. The original Constitution was a less democratic document before the changes were done. White men produced this Constitution, most of them were farm owners, and they owned slaves. Initially the Congress chose its members giving many of even white men who were citizens nearly no involvement in the lawmaking process. The minorities and women were discriminated and they did this by excluding them from the legislative process. Some states ultimately construed that the Founders meant to eradicate slavery as it said that every person ought to have the right to live, to be free, and have the right to seek happiness.
The changes, which have been done on the constitution, have made it more democratic however; it still has not met the clarity of being democratic (Lynch, 2005). There are dissimilar kinds of democratic governments for instance a Direct Democracy, which is a type of governing where citizens are ruled by the judgment of the majority on all matters that the government handles. This autonomous system is a true democratic system and is rooted in this designation of democracy. The US constitution outline under a Representative Democracy; this is a form of government ruled by people’s representatives which are chosen via the popular vote and speaks on their behalf.
Considering this definition of a democratic system or democracy, some major pieces are missing in the Constitution of USA for it to be acknowledged as a democratic. The Senate is made up of two senators from every state, despite the population (Natelson, 2010). This is referred to as the Connecticut Compromise; this was incorporated into the Constitution so as the minor states would remain under this system of republic. Now this compromise offers a small state such as Rhode Island numerous senators just like a greatly inhabited state like California, not precisely representing the populace of those states.
The number of representatives for every state depicts its populace in the House of Representatives. These two parties jointly build the congress, which in general does not attribute similar number of representatives for every population due to the senate (Hamilton, 2004). According-to the designation of democratic system the citizens from every state are supposed to have a number of representatives that is evenly based-on populace so as to have equal constitutional rights. An added contradiction to the Constitution being democratic is the structure in which Americans elect their president, as shown in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, and the 12th Amendment, by way of the Electoral College (Lynch, 2005). The Electoral College is a set of representatives chosen by the people to elect the president into leadership.
Every state is provided with as many members of the electorate as same Representatives and Senators; yet again using the similar case stated in the constitution, this people’s representation is not correct; it is another undemocratic feature of this system. The President is voted in by receiving most of the electoral votes (Lynch, 2005). Every state’s number of the electoral votes is the summation of its number of United States’ Senators and its United States’ Representatives. Even though the original constitution has undemocratic and dysfunctional features, it also has democratic features.
The judicial system for instance is to a certain extent democratic in that an unsystematic panel of judges of their peers judges the accused. Article III in the United States’ Constitution declares that "The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court" (Lynch, 2005).This quad is comprised of nine judges who are not voted by the citizens or the Congress but designated by the president and substantiated by the Senate. A condition defined in a democratic system is broken in this case because a large group of people is supposed to share participation in election of an official. The president has the solitary authority to appoint a judge. Judges have the supremacy to rule undemocratic any decree or ruling, even though duly accepted by the elected representatives and confirmed by the president. Judges are hereby given so much power because they are the only ones making all these decisions, this again breaks the condition that many are supposed to be involved in the decisions (Natelson, 2010).
Dahl deems that this system has utilized its power to make state policy via its judicial verdicts. The republic making up the US government is a very complex yet realistic type of government that directs the country well. It is a contented means between the scope of both a hierarchy structure/system and a pure democratic system (Barnett, 2005). A hierarchy type of government may possibly initiate risky extreme of dictatorship by a small cluster of rich influential individuals. The US depends on representative democracy; however, its governmental system is much more intricate than that. It is not a straightforward representative democratic system, but a constitutional republic where the rule of the majority is tempered by rights of minorities secluded by law.
US Constitution has given rise to a government that is founded greatly on independence, rationale, impartiality and the search of happiness and has helped Americans develop in different areas of science, art, and thinking. Americans hear that their principles and government are rooted in democracy repeatedly through the media and institutions of learning, only when they study the concept behind democratic system and examine their own Constitution that when they realize that it is not entirely true. The term democracy is powerful and Americans want to believe it signify or characterize their standard of living. It is a term that signifies independence and autonomy and gives people pride in their forefathers for fighting against dictatorship and oppression. Americans have many democratic values that their Constitution is founded on and their Constitution has served them well, although in the end they find the reality is that their founding constitution is not one of a democratic system but a republic (Natelson, 2010).
The constitution formed a republic; a republic is a kind of democratic system, but to some extent dissimilar from a pure democratic system. To enhance its appeal to minor states, the Constitution was formed to protect the lesser groups from the majority. This was the reason behind the Electoral College. The minor and less inhabited states are provided with greater power in presidential ballot vote. This is how aspirants can win the popular opinion poll but end up losing the election. This is not entirely democratic, but essential to keep the larger states from wholly dominating elections. The original constitution has had its share of both democratic and undemocratic features; in so many ways, the original constitution was undemocratic rather than democratic. A democratic constitution ought to be for the citizens or the people implemented by a designated ruling body for the people.