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Democracy in the US Constitution: Representation and the Balance of Powers

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  1. The definition of democracy
  2. The concessions
  3. The protection of strong minorities

Although the US Constitution intended to ensure the principles of equal representation and freedom of political expression, the imperfect process by which the document was created resulted in various undemocratic principles that are contrary to the spirit of the given prompt. The Constitution not only inherently protected minorities who needed protection the least, but it also weakened the representation of the majority relative to those same elite minorities. In essence, the Founding Fathers' attempt to check the rule of the majority entirely neglected the rights of weak minorities and shifted a disproportionate amount of power into the hands of the strong minorities. To begin with, when assessing the degree to which the Constitution upheld democratic principles, it is first and foremost necessary to understand what is meant by democracy.

[...] Senate and the Electoral College became bodies of disproportionate representation for reasons not based on ideological calculus, but rather for the sake of arbitrary means of compromise. Furthermore, the fact that constitutional amendments must receive a two-thirds majority from the Senate followed by approval by the legislatures in three-fourths of the states accentuates the imbalance of power in the United States government. Based on this fact, Dahl illustrates that an amendment could be vetoed by ?thirty-four senators from the seventeen smallest states with a total population of 20,495,878? (161). [...]


[...] Democracy in the US Constitution: Representation and the Balance of Powers The Constitution of the United States was undoubtedly created to provide a concrete, lasting check on the democratic nature of our political institution, but we must also remember that its content was heavily influenced by the time and circumstances under which it was produced. Although it intended to ensure the principles of equal representation and freedom of political expression, the imperfect process by which the document was created resulted in various undemocratic principles that are contrary to the spirit of the given prompt. [...]

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