Representative Democracy in America

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There are many forms of government, and even more variants of those forms. America is generally referred to as a representative democracy. This may be the case, but is there a more appropriate, or accurate, term to be calling the government of the United States of America? No there is not, as no definition for any common or even uncommon government fits with the structure of the U.S. Just because there is no better term for the United States government does not mean representative democracy is a perfect term either. While it fits for the bare-bones description of how the government functions, it is truly a mix of a couple different types of government.


The most prominent of these being a plutocratic republic, which is a plutocracy and democracy combined whose candidates for elections are chosen, financed, and promoted by plutocrats. If the elected official decides that they oppose plutocracy and its policy, the plutocrats who fund these candidates do their absolute most to make sure that said official is not elected again. This government form still has elections for their officials, but they are chosen by only the wealthy as opposed to the registered voters and/or government officials. That is comparable to the fact that candidates, especially presidential ones, need a sizable amount of money for advertising in their campaign, as it doesn't come cheap. The money normally comes from private funds or fundraisers, but can also come from sources like political action committees. Simply put, PACs are political groups that donate to parties and candidates that they support. However, money is not the most important factor when running for a position in the government, so while it is influential it's not so influential that the entire system revolves around third parties having to choose and fund candidates. A plutocratic republic also requires the government to be a plutocracy as well as democracy, which the U.S. is not. Representative democracy is citizens voting for representatives who in turn make decisions on behalf of the citizens. Average citizens of the United States who are registered to vote can vote for the state legislature. The state legislature can vote for who is in the electoral college.


Finally, every four years the electoral college votes for president. There are many other jobs in the government, but that is how the average citizen connects to the head of it. This structure means that the possibility of our government model being an oligarchy is nonexistent since it has nothing to do with class, but with who is voted for. It also takes out the option of it being anything that isn't a democracy variant. The government also has aspects of a direct democracy, which is shown but very limited. Examples of this are mayoral elections, law ballots, and town meetings. However, this does not happen often enough or on a large enough scale to be considered the government's structure. It matters to define the U.S. form of government because if there is no definition, then few people, if any, would know how it should be run according to its type. Each form is run differently, some differences much more drastic than others. More accurate defining will lead to more accurate understanding.        


Most countries in the world are regarded as representative democracies, the United States of America being one of them. In addition to this basic one, influences of other forms of government are shown in business, voting, and lawmaking. This term is not quite perfectly aligned with every aspect of our government but appears to be the closest compared to any other option that is offered in the long list of them.

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Representative Democracy In America. (2019, Aug 08). Retrieved June 23, 2024 , from

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