The Republic of America

A friend of mine pointed out something I'd never really understood yesterday. The difference between a democracy and a republic. In a democracy, everyone basically gets their vote for all aspects of government and everyone's voice is heard. In a republic, everyone gets their vote for all local aspects of government, but in doing so they elect a representative to go the federal government and then trust that this person will vote favourably.
In other words, whilst it may seem like you have a say in what goes on, it's only at the most local level. Once you've got to the point of electing an official to represent you, it's no longer a democracy.
With that in mind, with proportional representation in America and MPs in England, neither country is a democracy. They're republics. So the next time someone spouts off about our "heros" fighting for freedom and democracy, you have two reasons to disagree. Firstly, obviously, they're not fighting for your freedom - if they were, they'd be repelling an invading force inside America. In Iraq they're fighting for occupation. And secondly, America is not a democracy - it's a republic.

Which brings up an interesting side thought. If Americans value the idea of fighting for their freedom and rights so much, then shouldn't they be rebelling against the B*sh regime and things like the Patriot Act, both of which are slowly eroding the rights and freedoms of the American population? It's not Saddam Hussein, or Al Qaeda or Bin Laden that are scaring the Americans into giving up their rights and freedoms, it's the government.

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