Democracy can simply be defined as the eligibility of a population to choosing who they want to lead them (Bassiouni, 2). In other terms, democracy can be defined as a system of government where the citizens exercise power directly to create a body to govern them or elect leaders to rule them. Almost all the countries in the world have a formal governing system. These governments, however, are not always selected by the people democratically. Despite the fact that the constitution of a country is supposed to oversee democracy, it may not always promote such. The US Constitution is believed by some to be just an illusion created where the elite in the society decide the fate of the rest. This paper seeks to discuss that specific matter while supporting this aforementioned view of the constitution being an illusion to perpetuate the elite’s agenda.
To understand how the constitution is supposed to oversee the procedure of electing leaders, one must be able to define the word constitution as acceptable by the government. The constitution is a body of essential principles, pre-established models according to which an organization or a nation is governed. Literally, this means that every action taken by the people or by the government is supposed to be led or guided by the constitution. This has not always happened in the US. A simple explanation can be the reason why despite some leaders not being loved by the majority of people, and most probably never voted for by the majority of people, end up being the occupiers of electable positions in the country. Clearly, there is some conspiracy formulated, one that fools the citizens into thinking they are the ones electing leaders whereas, in the real sense, they do not.
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This unacceptable state of the undemocratic constitution did not begin yesterday. Rather, it began with the founding fathers. Between the years 1776 and 1789, there was a massive struggle between people trying to set up a democratic government and those people who wanted to keep the power into the hands of a minority group to lead the whole lot. Unfortunately, the latter lot succeeded against those who desired a fully democratic country. They, therefore, crafted a constitution which is what they had elaborated as a reason for their preference of governance. Truly, there have been amendments made to the Us Constitution, but in the real sense, none has been propelling the US into a better democracy. Added things are like allowing people who were previously not allowed to vote to do so.
Shockingly, despite the fact that the US Constitution is very undemocratic, it has been adopted in multiple countries around the world; Asia, Europe and countries in Africa. The first undemocratic thing about the constitution is the dangerous Presidentialism (Dator, 2). After the decolonization period when multiple states proceeded to adopt the US Constitution, a lot of countries underwent a lot of dictatorship from the inherent presidents and leaders. Clearly, when one analyses the history of governments that adopted the US Constitution, a dictator must have been present at one time in the past. The Us Constitution grants those in elected seats more power than they are supposed to have. The power is supposed to be with the people, but this never happens today. People have resolved to march the streets to air their concerns and grievances but to no avail.
Another fact that restrains democracy in the US is the constitutional requirement of the single member district system. This holds true in the election of the President, Vice-president, House of Representatives and also the house of senate. This makes it impossible for there to exist a multi-party system in the US (Dator, 3). The ramification of it is non-representation in the government for the citizens. Even the representatives themselves are just a group of wealthy people who are rich enough to buy the votes required to retain the seat every time and thus end up representing only a tiny percentage of the citizens in the government.
The judicial governance as stipulated by the Us Constitution contains a group of unelected persons who are always out of reach for the unrepresented citizens of the country. Also, these individuals have the power to declare acts b branches of the government and have been granted power to interpret the Constitution as they may by the Constitution. This is very undemocratic.
In conclusion, the US Constitution has been undemocratic to a point that the citizens have withdrawn their will to a democratic system. Most are now reluctant in being involved in whatever goes on politically. They just oblige to vote but with the background knowledge that it is only an illusion. This long-term result of having an undemocratic Constitution leaves those with the dire need of seeing a democratic country with a democratic constitution powerless and hopeless (De Tocqueville, 2). For them, their concerns just end up in frustrated discussions, emotional declamatory outbursts and, once in a while, a demonstration on the streets.
- Dator, Jim. “Will America ever become a democracy?” Democracy and Futures. Committee for the future, Parliament of Finland. 2006.
- Bassiouni, M. Cherif. Democracy: Its Principles and Achievement. Vol. 1021. Inter-Parliamentary Union, 1998.
- De Tocqueville, Alexis, et al. Democracy in America. Vol. 2. New York: Vintage Books, 1972.