What is the difference between a republic and a democracy?

THERE are complex differences between nations that are ruled under a democracy and a republic.

The one similarity between a democracy and a republic is that citizens elect people to represent and protect their interests in government functions.

What is the difference between a republic and a democracy?

A Democracy is defined as a type of government where the power to govern rests with a country's people rather than a ruling family or a single individual.

This means that citizens control how their government operates, usually through voting.

Typically through a constitution, democracies limit the powers of their top rulers, such as the president of the United States, set up a system of separation of powers and responsibilities between branches of the government, and protect the people's natural rights and civil liberties. 

On the other hand, a republic is a government system where the power rests with a nation's citizens.

In a republic, the people elect representatives to make the laws and an executive to enforce those laws.

While the majority still rules in selecting representatives, an official charter lists and protects certain inalienable rights, thus protecting the minority from the arbitrary political whims of the majority.

Citizens and their representatives are to work cooperatively to promote the common good rather than their own interests.

What countries have a Republic government?

During the 21 century, there are many countries in the world with republic governments, although their types of republics differ.

Some countries that with a republic government include:

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Maldives
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Slovenia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • Uzbekistan

What countries have a democratic government?

The nations with a democratic government include:

  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Sweden
  • New Zealand
  • Finland
  • Ireland
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Australia
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • United States

What type of governments do citizens in Russia and North Korea live under?

Russia and North Korea are two non-democratic republic countries.

According to the Russian Consitution, the nation's government is set up like a republic, but many argue that the country is operated more like a dictatorship under President Vladimir Putin.

Although the president and other government officials are elected by popular vote, the Russian government also limits Russian citizens' freedom, including suppressing free speech and controlling access to objective information.

North Korea's government is set up much like the US, split into three branches: the executive branch, judicial branch and the legislative branch.

However, many classify North Korea as being ruled under a dictatorship under President Kim Jong-Un.

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