After 40 years under a dictatorship, Spain shyly started walking towards democracy. Looking at what we used to have, we achieved a lot; looking at all the way that remains ahead, we astonishingly realized that we were already starting to acquiesce in the minimums and almost had resigden to the “demo” (a sort of simulation of democracy…) but now we are going for the “cracia”, for the power of the people.
“No crown, no heir, democracy means people”.
Republic comes from the latin term “res” thing, that is public, which belongs to the “populus” or people, it means that the people holds the power, and they temporary delageate it on their representants. This is an essential difference betwen monarchical governments where the attribution of sovereign is lifelong and often, hereditary.
One essential characteristic of a republican government is the constitutionally stablished ,power divission into three different ones according to their specific functions: an administrative body, represented by the Executive Power, a “law making one”, called Legislative Power and another one whose mission is applying those laws in the specific cases where their aprreciation is needed, the Judicial Power.
Other characteristics of the Republic, are:
- All citizens are equal before the law .
- The governors must be responsible before the people who chose them, for their acts of governance.
- The need that every act of governance is public (transparency); which means that those must not be secret, but expounded to the citizens so that these can be controlled.
The essential pillars of the Republic
The three essential pillars of te Republic according to Aristotle are:
- The power divission and its reciprocal control.
- The political active participation by the citizens. These means, thetransparency of every State act, the instruction on basic aspects of politic culture and the exigence of liabilities to the governers.
- The representation of every social class inside the government institutions with equal attributions and prevalence of none. (Access to those judgeships must be restricted, and they will necessarely be collegiated according to the affected field, the magistrate must belong to the class he/she representates and be chosen exclusively through their vote).
It must be considered that for Aristote, the supreme aims of any form of government should be:
- Freedom = Equality (“we only are free among equals)”
- The realization of justice and common good.
- The full realization of human cognitive skills development (for which he judges necesary the fulfilment of the two prior points, following Socrates‘ essential concept [GOOD=TRUTH. According to which good is equal to truth and bad to ignorance ]
- Out of this, we can deduce that if we are only free among equals there must not be a governing class, but every class must govern equally
Republic and Democracy
The term democracy comes from the ancient greek (dḗmos, which translates as “people”) and κράτος (krátos, which translates as “power”).
This way, republic is the governance of the law; while democracy means the governance of the people.
Thus, democracy admits gradation, meaning that there can be forms of government that are closer to the idea of Equality = Freedom; since laws are made for citizens and by citizens.
Democracy’s basic definition: in order that a government can be considered minimally democratic, it needs to have at least: male and female universal suffrage; free, competitive, recurring and correct ellections; more than one party; and more than one source of information.
In the sphere of the democracies that are above that minimum treshold, it is necessary to annalize how far they have gone or can go in the process of the finest fulfillment of the two main objectives of the ideal democracy: freedom and equality
“A quality democracy is the one that develops satisfactorily the procedures designed to favor freedom and political and social equality, and whose public policies meet the demands of the citizens.”
Democratic Development: Political participation mechanisms
It’s not just about voting every 4 years: we have to demand, we have to get involved, we have to supervise, we have to compel that responsabilities are assumed, we have to be awake, we have to listen, debate, get informed, we have to “fight” for democracy!
These are some ways of direct participation, they are mechanisms of opinion and public ellection.
- Popular initiative: The right given to the citizenship to present draft legislation proposals before the correspondant public institution.
- Referendum: A direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to eiter accept or reject a particular proposal or to revoke or not a norm already in force.
- Popular consultation: The mechanism trough which the President, the Governor, the Major or other governing personality can ask a question about a general domain, about an issue of national or regional relevance, etc. to the citizens so that they can formally state their opinion.
- Open cabildo: The public meeting of the district or municipal councils or local administrative boards where inhabitants can directly participate in order to debate matters of public interest for the comunity.
- Impeachment : The political right by which citizens can remove a Governor or a Major from office.
The survey will be published after the summer or once a significant sample is obtained. At the end of the survey, you must press the “finish survey” button to remain registered responses. See abreviated list of related terms after the survey (Look below for more information)
Link to survey: http://cort.as/9gSv
“THE REPUBLIC THAT WE WANT- Survey:
Abreviated list of related terms (links available):
- Citizen Participation
- Concordat with the Catholic Church, 1953, 1979 (in effect)
- Democratic Development Index
- Direct Democracy
- EU= European Union
- Euro €
- Fiscal Reform
- Goods Confiscation
- Lay – Laicité – Secularism
- New Parties Law in Spain
- Political Culture
- Popular Initiative
- Popular Soveraignity
- Representated with parity
- Spanish Constitution of 1931
- Spanish Court of Accounts
- Spanish Historical Memory Law
- Spanish laws that guarantee mercy or legal privileges to memebers of Government
- Spanish Constitution of 1978
- Spanish Mortgage Law, of 1909
- Sustainable Development
- Welfare State
I CHOSE: I, REPUBLIC
WE DON’T WANT TO BE SUBJECTS, WE WANT TO BE CITIZENS: WE CHOSE REPUBLIC.
BYE MONARCHY: WE CHOSE REPUBLIC.
WE WORK TOGETHER FOR THE SPANISH FEDERAL REPUBLIC!
Thank you very much for your participation!