New Zealand Republic

New Zealand Republic

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Different kinds of republics

The definition of a republic is:
A country which is ruled by supreme law (i.e. a constitution)
The word "republic" comes from two Latin words:
"Res" (meaning: thing) and "Publica" (meaning public)
So republic means "the public thing". What is the public thing? -the Law (which means a republic is rule by law)

I have complied a list of 5 things I personally think a country must have to be a true republic:

1. A written constitution that protects the rights and freedoms of its citizens
2. Freedom of Religion, Press, Assembly, Speech, Association, etc.
3. Elected Representative law making body (or bodies)
4. Elected Head of the Government
5. Elected Head of State

There are 3 kinds of republics:

1. Full Presidential (example: U.S.A.)
2. Semi-Presidential (example: France)
3. Parliamentary (example: Germany, India)

-In a Full Presidential system, the President is the Head of Government, and the Head of State. This system has separation of the three powers as a major factor in the structure of the country. The President appoints the cabinet, but it cannot be dismissed by a vote of no confidence.

-In a Semi-Presidential system you have a Prime Minister (or Chancellor) and a President. One of them is Head of the Government, and the other is the Head of State. Executive power is shared between those two offices. They both are active participants in the day to day running of the country.  The President appoints the cabinet, but is can be dismissed by the legislature by a vote of no confidence.

-In a Parliamentary system there is no clear separation between the legislative and the executive branches (i.e. the Head of Government is elected through the legislature, like it is in New Zealand currently). But it has a separate Head of State (who has some power although sometimes can be ceremonial), and Prime Minister (who holds the real power).

New Zealand should become a Parliamentary Republic, since it is the type that resembles our current system, the one New Zealanders would be the most comfortable with, and because it is the best suitable option for our needs, values, and culture.

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