What Are The Advantages Of A Republic?


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A republic is a state in which affairs are considered completely public. Republics do not have a monarchy, but instead a representative government is ruled by laws codified in the constitution.

Advantages of a republic

  • The government and the people are all accountable under the highest law in the land (the constitution).
  • Republics recognise the rights of individuals in the law, rather than just the rule of the majority.
  • The power of the executive branch is restrained.
  • Both legislative houses are kept equal under the constitution.
  • The head of state is an elected representative of the people - not a hereditary monarch.
  • Law making is a slow process, allowing for a bill to be properly scrutinised before it is passed.
  • A separation of powers ensures that every aspect of the political system is kept in check.
  • The constitution of a republic is codified (written down in a single document).
Disadvantages of a republic
  • Law making is a long process, which makes decisive governmental action difficult.
  • Unelected officials maintain a huge amount of influence (e.g Supreme Court justices).
  • The government - which is democratically elected by the people - may have to amend bills to satisfy the opposition, who did not win the majority of votes.
  • A republic's codified constitution is inflexible, making changes to the document a lengthy and complicated process.
  • The fundamental aspect of a democracy - the rule of the majority - may be curtailed by a republic's defence of the individual.

Washington Vs Westminster systems The Washington system (The United States) of democracy is a republic which utilises checks, balances and a separation of powers to stop the elected government becoming tyrannical. In the Washington system, a country has a codified constitution which clearly states how the country should be run.

The Westminster system (The United Kingdom) is a constitutional monarchy which has no separation of powers and allows the executive to dominate the legislature. The elected government can pass legislation quickly, allowing for decisive action. The constitution is uncodified which allows for a more flexible method of state governance.

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