A republic is a state or country where the people are able to have a certain degree of impacting the government. These government systems are usually also democratic, where the people vote for their leaders. The idea of a republic is said to come from the one of the first advanced civilisations, Greece. There are many types of republics, but in most modern republic the leader who holds the most power is usually called the president, with a few exceptions (e.g. Singapore’s head of state is the Prime Minister). These head of states are usually elected through democratic means, with a designated term in office (usually 4 to 6 years) before a next election, where the citizens will decide whether or not their current leader has done a good enough job.
Republics give their citizens considerably more freedom of speech as compared to other forms of government, as citizens are required to choose their leader. They are also more economically developed, as leaders are expected to provide prosperity for their citizens to continue being in power. A popular example of this is the United States.
Pros and Cons
People have a say in the direction of the country/freedom of speech. Being largely democratic, the people in a republic are able to vote for their best interests. In turn the leaders in power will have to ensure the prosperity and satisfaction of the citizens in order to stay in power.
Respect for other races and religions. Under a dictatorship or monarchy, as the leader has absolute power it is possible that racial or religious discrimination can occur. In monarchies it is even possible that the leader could force his citizens to embrace a uniform religion of his choice. However, in a republic where democracy is important, leaders are more inclined to cater to all races and religions, however minor, in the state or country.
Instability as leaders might change regularly. When people are able to choose their leader, they might decide that their current leader is not doing a good enough job, leading to a sudden change in leadership during the next election. New leaders will result in a change in direction for the country, which over time may lead to instability in the country.
However, racism might still occur. Some countries with a racial majority could vote in favour of leaders of their race, resulting in discrimination toward minority races in their country.
Impact on Society
Leaders of a republic have to ensure the prosperity of their citizens, they will focus on economic growth, as can be seen from Singapore’s case, where it has one of the highest GDP in the world. If a leader is unable to achieve economic success for the country, the democratic system would ensure that the people would vote for one that can.
As there are several well-developed republics such as the United States, educational strategies can be exchanged between republics to result in higher standards of education in republics as compared to other forms of government. However, republics with a racial majority may have the problem of racially biased forms of education, where the majority race is made to believe they are superior to others.
Environmentally, economically focused republics such as the US tend to pay less attention to environmental issues such as pollution. This is because to most successful economies are oil driven, which causes large amounts of pollution.
Republics depend on the power of the people; therefore freedom of speech is prevalent. In Singapore many citizens are outspoken about the pros and cons of the current government, which are voiced out through many mediums such as newspaper forums and web logs. Also to ensure progress, Singapore does not repress technology such as the Internet from its citizens, allowing for a more informed and tech-savvy society.
Propaganda is occasionally used in favour of the leading party. These occasions include during elections, where pro-party messages are broadcast over the media, giving the leading party an edge over their opponents.
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