This Node Is Wrong. A republic is
an indirect democracy
, also known as a representative democracy
. My proof:
Exibit A: Dictionary definition of democracy from Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged: ". . .(2) : a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and is exercised by them indirectly through a system of representation and delegated authority in which the people choose their their officials and representatives at periodically held elections.. (emphasis mine) I also checked another dictionary and it said basically the same thing. Thus, the U.S.A is a democracy. It is also a republic, as shown in...
Exibit B: Ibid. republic def. "b (1) a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officials and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law : REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY" Thus a republic is a democracy.
Research, research, research!
I will now reply to SharQ because he makes good points.
America does only have two major parties.
- If there were twenty parties and one consistently ruled (winning elections by a small margin) for a really long time would it be a democracy? Where do you draw the line? My point here is that if a country's populace has a very homogeneous political opinion then the candidates that represent that opinion will win consistently. It's still a democracy. Democracy refers to the system--the procedure by which the leader(s) are selected--not the political opinion. (Unless, perhaps, the popular opinion is that we should have a dictatorship. But that's not the leading American mindset so it's irrelevant.)
- The parties keep winning but others exist and can run on a (nearly) equal basis. They don't win because they're not the most popular. That is, because we have a democracy.
- This doesn't address why there aren't a bunch of parties, but the reason why the parties stay alive for so long is largely because they change to match political opinion. We have different Republican and Democrat parties than we used to; just the names stayed the same.
- Money: Again, I think this is a big problem but not one that makes us not a democracy. It's de facto not de jure.
An irrelevant point I'd like to make is that while from a Norwegian point-of-view the Democrats and Republicans are both very 'right," but from my perspective (and the perspective of most American experts, I think) they're very centrist. (That's another reason why third parties keep losing: they represent the extremist views who are in nearly every society the minority.)
Re communism v. facist: You need to define terms. In American politics Communism and Facism generally represent the extreme-left: powerful, oppressive central government. (Though actually I think communism is an economic system, not a political system so a comparison makes no sense what-so-ever.)
Your final point: I say above "supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote" Thus, what matters is not that they do vote but that they're entitled to vote. Democracy essentially means ruled by the people. If half the people choose to defer to others wishes, they're still equally ruling. They control the government just as much as any Norwegian. A voter helps decide their leader by voting for one, a non-voting helps by choosing (that's the key word here) the option of "Whatever you guys decide is okay with me."
See also: America isn't really a democracy, Why does the USA continue to insist it's a Democracy?