Democracy vs Republic – Difference and Comparison

What is Democracy?           

Democracy is the type of government governing a country where people are the pivotal point to elect a government. A famous quote actually presents the true essence of democracy by stating, “democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people.

The majority has the authority in a democracy. Any democratic state cannot develop without the consent of the majority of people voting in the favor of their representative. The whole power lies in the hands of people who willfully select their favourite personnel.

In a democracy any small group having a different viewpoint than the majority has no authority, hence the laws to govern are directly made by the majority elected.

In a pure democracy, there are no predefined rules, the governing bodies set their rules to govern the country.  Indirectly the government lies in the hands of the majority. Pure democracy is not seen in all democratic states too.

As the public has the electing power to elect the government that’s the reason democracy is demonstrated for the wellbeing of the citizens. Any democratic country may have more than one form of democracy depending on the responsibilities given to the elected people. It can be direct democracy or representative democracy.

What is Republic?

Republic is an Italian word, derived from two words Res Publica, making government considered a public matter. In a republic, a constitution or a charter protects the rights of all people including minorities. So, no majority can overrule any constitution.

As opposed to democracy, a republic government has its own legislation that governs the ruling representative.

In republic individual rights are limited so it is rather a slow and ineffective decision-making process. If there needs to be any amendment it is always research-based due to the laws governing the republic, the change thus made is relatively slower.

In a republic state, the power proportionately lies in the hands of the general public. The whole population is divided into mini sections which vote for their representative and these voted persons then sit in the governing bodies making the general public as the indirect dominant figure to govern the government.

Many democracies are a republic, so they are called democratic republics.

The key concept behind a republic is that it is not a hereditary concept of rule where only a single individual or the family rules the people, but there are some elected government bodies. Ultimately, the power lies in the hands of people indirectly.

Difference Between Democracy and Republic

The major difference that draws the fine line between a democracy and a republic is the extension under which the people can have the authority to control the procedure of law and policy making. In a democracy, the majority rules every decision whatsoever, while in a republic the charter has its final say in the decision-making.

In pure democracy, majority may rule out the minority, while in a republic the constitution saves the minority’s rights.

Simply put, Republic reserves the right of all people from the will of the majority. There are reserved minority seats to represent the minority.

Comparison Between Democracy and Republic

Parameters of ComparisonDemocracyRepublic
TypesThree major types, direct, representative, constitutionalFive types, constitutional, parliamentary, federal, theocratic, presidential
PowerLies in the hands of majorityPower is in the hands of individual citizens
Will of majorityWill of majority can overrule existing ruleWill cannot overrule as the constitution support the individuals
Government constraintsNo constraints to the governmentMajor constraints on the government in the form of constitution
FocusLies in the general will of peopleMain focus is to protect the constitution