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Old March 9 2013, 07:44 AM   #54
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Cardassian society - enforcement or preference?

Sci wrote: View Post
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
The Roman and Greek republics were democracies but the wealthy controlled everything and legalized things like seizing individual lands and slavery.
We seem to be operating with different definitions of "democracy." For my money, you're not a democracy unless every adult gets a vote. So, for instance, the United States was not a democracy until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965; prior to that, either women or minorities or both (at varying points, it would be one or the other) were disenfranchised.

So, no, I don't think it's fair to call ancient Athens a democracy, even if that's what it called itself. It wasn't rule by the people; it was rule by a certain segment of the male population.
Actually, Athens was a democracy. Rome wasn't, Britain isn't, France isn't, the USA isn't; in fact, I don't know of any democracies today. Democracy just means that every voter gets an equal say in every decision made. Athens had that. You may not like how voting was limited, but suffrage is a different thing. Democracy didn't, and doesn't, protect anyone's rights at all; it's the rule of the mob, writ large. As long as a certain percentage of the populace wants something, it happens, no matter how wrong or previously illegal it is.

Every "democracy" today is actually a republic. The voters elect representatives, and the representatives make the decisions. Because of the nature of a republic, there needs to be some sort of overriding law that exists outside of current politics (or else representatives would immediately chose to become elected for life, and other naughty things). Republics are better at protecting rights than other forms of government, because the representatives depend on the voters for their jobs, and said representatives can't go past the overriding law, which often also deals somewhat with the rights of voters.

TheRoyalFamily wrote: View Post
If future people don't like the situation, they can change it.
Well, no, they can't -- that's why it's called a dictatorship, because they don't get a choice!
There's always a choice. Sometimes that choice is hard, or hard to carry out, but there is a choice.

That's why democratic mandates come with expiration dates.
Where do they do that? Only if a particular law says it expires at a certain time. You could say that any particular representative has some sort of time limit, one way or another, but most laws don't.
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