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What countries have a representative democracy?

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Quick Answer

Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom are some of the countries that utilize representative democracies either wholly or in part. A representative democracy is a system of government in which representatives are elected to serve terms in office as representatives of their constituents.

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What countries have a representative democracy?
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Full Answer

Representative democracies are typically implemented in countries where the population size is prohibitive to a direct democracy, which is a system of government in which every citizen represents himself in government decisions. Although the United States is not wholly a representative democracy, federal elected officials, such as Congress and the president, are examples of how the United States incorporates representative democracy into its government system.

Constitutions usually regulate the power of elected individuals in representative democracies, and elections are typically held among parties with competing platforms. Representative democracies usually have some sort of court system in place to insure that elected representatives do not abuse their power or attempt to make laws in areas when they are not granted the right to do so by their constitution. In order for representative democracies to be effective, they must have the correct ratio of elected officials to citizens. Some critics of the U.S. model of representative democracy say that citizens are not properly represented.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of representative democracy?

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    The pros of representative democracy include that elected officials are often better informed and the government is more efficient, whereas some cons include that citizens don’t participate directly and elected officials have the ability to ignore their constituents once elected. Representative democracy is one where instead of direct democracy where all of the people in an area make all of the decisions, the people elect officials to make the decisions on their behalf.

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  • Q:

    What are disadvantages of representative democracy?

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    CongressLink provides the key disadvantages of representative democracy as negative public opinion of the character and intentions of politicians combined with overwhelming cynicism that elected officials represent the true interests of people. Causes of this negative perception are low tolerance of the processes necessary to make the system work (debate, compromise, advocacy and stalemate), the observation that special interest groups have greater representation and the media overemphasis of negative government events.

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  • Q:

    What are some pros and cons of a representative democracy?

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    Pros of a representative democracy include efficiency, and officials that are democratically elected; cons include elected officials not being held accountable for their actions and citizens cannot participate in this type of democracy. The United Kingdom and the United States both have a representative democracy.

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  • Q:

    What are some advantages of a representative democracy?

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    In communities with a large population, representative democracy allows the people to be heard without requiring everyone to submit their opinion on a subject individually. This means that more people get to have a voice without the crippling slow-down that would result from having thousands or even millions of individuals vote on each individual issue.

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