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How Far Can the Weimar Constitution be Described as Creating an "Effective" Democracy

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Introduction

How Far Can the Weimar Constitution be Described as Creating an "Effective" Democracy? For the first time in the history of Germany, the state was a democratic republic. The constitution was something of a fragile experiment, a guinea pig. Theoretically speaking, the Weimar Constitution could be described as the most democratic constitution the world has ever laid eyes upon, in practice, things were not as clear. Germany was to be a "Federal State," with each "Lander," (state) retaining limited control over local affairs. This recognised local differences within Germany, with each Lander being represented in the Reichstrat. Effectively small states had as much influence as bigger states. This system allowed for the Reichstrat to be a microcosm of German society, with local diversity taken into account, which is of course extremely democratic, because all citizens no matter how remote had somebody representing their local needs. The Reichstag was extremely democratic because the German public elected members of the Reichstag. Universal suffrage for adults over the age of 20, meant that every body, had a vote, to decide who gained a seat. ...read more.

Middle

that a democracy is not a dictatorship.) The president appointed the chancellor according to whether or not he had the support of the Reichstag, which was in turn a representation of society. People voted the Reichstag, the majority of which had to support the Chancellor. So assuming that the people agree on who should be the chancellor, with their representatives in the Reichstag, the president appoints the chancellor based on support of the people, which is very democratic. The peoples will prevailed with regard to who the president appointed as chancellor regardless of whether or not the president himself supported him, i.e. Hindenburgs appointment of Hitler as chancellor. Thus the people indirectly chose chancellor as opposed to the president; this is democratic. The president could dissolve the Reichstag and hold new elections if he didn't like the policies of the chancellor, allowing the chancellor to be held politically accountable to the people. Political accountability means that people account whether the situation is good or bad, based on their personal analysis they vote. This is democratic. Article 48 Emergency powers, existed to protect the democratic system, in the case of stale mate, or political grid lock, article 48 could be used to push through a policy, allowing the democratic process to progress. ...read more.

Conclusion

Extreme parties controlling power, means that the minority, is controlling the majority which is the opposite of democracy, whilst voter fatigue means that the Reichstag and thus chancellor do not actually reflect the views of the people, which is undemocratic. The Reichstrat system allowed tiny states, to have as much representation and thus influence as bigger states, meaning that the few people in the small states between have as much influence and power between them, as all the people in the big states put together; which is entirely undemocratic. The Bill of Rights, with minimum wages, caused disputes with employers and workers having to sit down and arbitrate wages. This actually led to unemployment as employers were forced to cut labour costs, so were employing more people. So it effectively lowers the rights of the workers, undemocratic. So to conclude, whilst the constitution was extremely democratic in theory, the things that made it so democratic in theory like proportional representation, in practice led to plurality and diversity of governments causing an ineffective democracy for most of the length of its existence. ?? ?? ?? ?? How Far Can the Weimar Constitution be Described as Creating an "Effective" Democracy? Clive Freedman Page 4 of 4 ...read more.

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