Originally Posted by dlady
Ah my good friend, to use the word nonsense is a strong statement, on internet forums everything is magnified, praise and criticism alike; you probably meant to say that it is possible to identify the spirit of a self governed people outside of rigid/strict sociopolitical definitions, and that you feel a constitutional monarchy is ‘close enough’ to self government that we should count it.
For example, you probably meant to counter, other forms of government are tough to delineate as well; while the US calls itself a Democracy, doesn’t it also operative in many ways like a Republic?
Just because I’m new to the forum doesn’t mean it is okay to be rude.
My apologies. In its strictest definition, neither the US nor the UK are democracies. In point of fact, the US has passed resolutions in Congress which affirm that it is explicitly NOT a Democracy, rather a Republic. So we get down to the definition of what is a democracy in a less strict sense? Any definition which is broad enough to include the US is going to include the UK as well.
One specific definition which is in common usage among political theorists is known as a "polyarchy", which has the following qualities:
- Citizens have a right to freedom of expression, including criticism of the government, the economy, etc
- Citizens have the right to create associations, including political associations which can attempt to influence the government
- Decisions are made by elected representatives
- Nearly all citizens have a right to vote in the elections
- Elections are free of fraud or coercion
- Officials are removed peacefully after loss of an election
So, basically, Britain fits the bill equally well - perhaps even slightly better - than the US under this definition.
If you choose a more specific definition which is going to exclude Britain and similar democracies, then it's likely that you can indeed show that democracies do not war with one another - but only because the definition cannot include more than a tiny handful of countries who, strictly by virtue of their extreme rarity (perhaps even singularity!), aren't likely to come into conflict.