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How democratic are the U.S. and Georgia State Constitutions?

This paper maintains that to know how democratic the U. S. and the Georgia State Constitutions, one would need to know how rights the citizens are safeguarded in each constitution. We will start with the definition to some important terms then we will proceed to defend out hypothesis by supporting the with evidence our hypothesis. We will also identify undemocratic elements of each constitutions explain how this will affect in assessing the enjoyment of democracy under each institution. 2. Analysis and discussion 2. 1. Definition of democracy

Democracy is defined is a most simple term as the role of the people. If it is then a rule of the people, it should mean that that every citizen is actually participating in how their governments are run. And so there are two kinds of democracy. One is direct democracy and the other is republican democracy. In both the US and Georgia state, republican democracy is the form adopted. 2. 2 Underlying principles, separation of powers, rule of majority To start knowing therefore whether one form of government is democratic or not, the underlying principles of democracy must support the practice.

For both the US and the Georgia state, the underlying principles included the separation of powers and rule of majority. Under the principle of separation of powers, the legislative branch makes the laws, the executive branch implement the laws, while the judiciary interprets the law. The legislative branch in the case of the US consists of the Congress which enacts the federal laws, the judiciary consists of the federal courts under the Federal Supreme Court, while the executive is the President.

In the case the Georgia State Constitution, they have also their local law making body, their chief executive which is represented by the governor, Georgia state courts, under the State Supreme Court. . The separation would therefore prohibit the abuse of one branch over the other hence doing so would violate the constitution. This system is a necessary part of democracy to allow the proper functioning of the government and to allow the related principle of checks and balances.

This principle also enhances accountability of public officers since under a republican form of democracy people elect their officials into office and some are appointed by elected officials. Hence the essence of democracy is the people could demand responsibility since they exercise they power into trying to vote people into office. Such power of voting people in to office is the right to of suffrage which entitles every citizen also one they reach proper age and at that they are responsibly participating in government. The right to vote is political liberty that must also be protected by the constitution of both.

2. 3 Guarding against misuse of power, tyranny of majority and intolerance How did the framers guard against misuse of power, tyranny of majority and guard against intolerance? The framers ensured guards against misuse of power, by the making it sure the underlying principle of separation of power will work effectively. While the president or governors and members of Congress or legislative (federal and state level) also elected, the judges and justices are appointed by the head of the executive. The constitution of either of the US or Georgia then functions by preventing encroachment of one branch from the other.

This could be exemplified when judicial branch performs the function of checking the validity of laws in case an issue is brought to it. To guard against tyranny of majority and guard against intolerance, the constitution recognise the dissent in proceeding in several bodies of the of government, in the Supreme Court dissenting opinions are allowed and also in congressional inquiries. The objection of the minority on the decision of the majority are recognise although they must have to obey the result for the majority. 2. 4 Ensuring democracy by ensuring the equal protection, participation, and civil rights and political liberties?

The US and GS Constitution ensure democracy in ensuring the equal protection, participation, civil right and political liberation of the American Citizens. The equal protection guarantee is best found in the Bill of rights in their constitutions. The equal protection refers include the non-discrimination to secure public office on the basis of color or religion, or the basis of social status in life. Hence their constitution merely prescribes the minimum qualification for elected public office, which will not discriminate based on social status, religion or political beliefs.

This could mean that one would have all the opportunity to go to public if they want. This is in direct contrast in the case of Constitutional monarchy were ascension to the Kingdom on the basis of bold relationship. The protection of fairness among citizens depends on the availability of the right to vote one vote once each citizen has qualified as to age and to residency. 2. 5 Particular shortcoming and undemocratic elements of each constitution Not every form of government is perfect. The US constitution had its share which may indicate a lower level of democracy.

Wikipedia gave the undemocratic elements of the US constitution, some of which are shown below: One example is the Election of the president. Article II Section 1 of the US constitution establishes the Electoral College allocating which gives each state a number of electors proportional to its representation in Congress. Under present rule, each state has two Senators, regardless of the population. Hence the number of senators is not proportional to population. It is undemocratic to note that electors were to be appointed by whatever method the state legislatures chose.

This practice would amount to use of their own judgment in choosing a President which is unfair (Paraphrasing made). Another one is on the representation in the Senate. One state has two senators without due consideration to the population under the Connecticut Compromise. This got inserted into the Constitution for the purpose of securing the continued participation of the smaller states but if one looks at it fairly, there is really some injustice since the true meaning of democracy one vote, one equal right across all citizens How does the Georgia State Constitution Limit the rights guaranteed in the US

Constitution and how does it expand the rights not guaranteed in the US Cons? In other words, what citizen’s right or liberties does the GSC infringe upon that the US constitution does not? The proper answer to this question should be none because of supremacy of federal constitution over the state constitution of Georgia. Wikipedia explained that Article Six establishes the Constitution, and the laws and treaties of the United States made in accordance with it, to be the supreme law of the land, and that “the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the laws or constitutions of any state notwithstanding.

” The supremacy simply means that that the states’ constitutions and laws should not conflict with the laws of the federal constitution– and that in case of a conflict, state judges are legally bound to honor the federal laws and constitution over those of any state (Paraphrasing made). At this point the following questions could now be answered: How does each constitution insutionalize inequality? i. How does each constitution allocate political representation? ; ii.

How does each constitution distribute wealth; and iii. How do each constitutions dispense justice? While each constitution declares the equal protection clause, each could still institute inequality by unfair enactment of laws. The case of election of president and allocation of two senators per state which will constitute the legislature in apportioning the number of college electors is the best proof of institutionalized inequality in the allocation of political representation.

Each constitution distributed wealth by the system of progressive taxation where these with the higher income should pay more than those with less. Justice is dispense by each constitution by making its assure that right of its citizens are protects in the courts of law. 3. Conclusion: The issue of whether how democratic or undemocratic a constitution is gauged depends on how much the constitution safeguard the right the citizens.

One cannot be democratic therefore of the citizens do not have right hence, the best evidence that they protected rights is the presence of the Bill of right in their constitution. The government under the there’re branches should help ones another insuring in the protection of those rights. With there eights being enjoyed and fulfils because they are restrained or otherwise by the operation of the government, would simply make democracy only in paper but different in reality. Such type of democracy of would bit will not be considered as true democracy.

Democracy is not just a function of the people it is also a function of the institution properly working under a vigilant and democratic minded people who desire an acts for the safeguard and protection of their rights.


1. Wikipedia U. S. _Constitution, 2006 {www document} URL http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/U. S. _Constitution#States. 27_powers_and_limits, Accessed September, 20,2006 2. Wikipedia (2006), How Democratic is the American Constitution, 2006 {www document} URL < http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/How_Democratic_is_the_American_Constitution%3, Accessed September, 20,2006

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