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JamesHackerMP

Anti-democratic features in Democracy

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This could have gone under US politics, but it might as well also go under world politics because it could apply anywhere.

Do democracies need to have certain anti-democratic features in order to survive? I'm not talking about secret police, etc., I don't mean THAT kind of anti-democratic, but electoral systems that aren't directly wired into popular opinions, upper houses of parliaments/congresses that aren't based on one person/one vote at the national level. A democracy requires a stable state, and sometimes direct democracy can destabilize political systems.

This is especially true when it comes to judicial independence. Would you really want supreme court justices elected in nationwide elections? Certain parts of governments, in order to function, must be insulated from the wilder winds of public debate.

In the US system, for example:

1.  The president, though elected by the people, is effectively elected through a filter that doesn't always reflect their will. (In 1888, 2000, and 2016, the president elected lost the overall popular vote.)

2.  The Senate is actually more anti-democratic than the electoral college.  California has 2 senators, so does Wyoming; but the former has a population of 38 million, the latter, about 600,000.

3.  First past the post elections allow a victory for the candidate with the most votes, even if it wasn't a simple majority. And if it was a simple majority, legislatures divided into single member districts don't always produce the same party distribution as the number of people who, overall, voted for those parties.

Just a few examples.

Edited by JamesHackerMP
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I see the above points as MORE democratic than the alternative. Look at point 2. Do you consider it more fair if California had 126 Senators compared to the 2 in Wyoming? Then the two in Wyoming don't matter whatsoever. California runs the country, wins on every vote every time and with that kind of power cannot be stopped. Under that system there is no reason for Wyoming to hope to get anything out of the Fed.

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except that the Senate makes sure that California can't. Unlike the Canadian Senate, the US Senate has actual power, in practice and on paper.  CA may piss us off from time to time, but they're far from running the country, thank God. And that's exactly why a stable democracy requires anti-democratic features in its constitution.

Edited by JamesHackerMP

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No, I don't think having judges elected by the general electorate would be a good idea. However, unfortunately even though judges are appointed by their professional merit it doesn't mean that they wouldn't be corrupt.

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