Codified Constitutions Are Not An Essential Element Of Democracy

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It is generally considered that codified constitutions are an essential element of democracy in that by clearly setting out the functions of each branch of government and their relations with each other and their citizens, this prevents an over powerful executive developing and ensures rights of citizens are protected. However, I believe that codified constitutions are not an essential element of democracy as there are examples of robust democracies which have uncodified constitutions and at times codified constitutions are more of a hindrance than a help to the democratic process.
Codified Constitutions are often not very democratic
A codified constitution is a constitution ‘in which key constitutional provisions are …show more content…

In 2012, ‘Republicans won a majority of seats in the House despite securing only 48 percent of the vote and to win a majority of 218 House seats, the Democratic candidates would need to win ten million more votes than Republicans in 2016.’(Richie,The Nation,2014) This often leads to situations in which the will of the democratic majority are ignored as seen after the Sandy Hook Massacre in 2012, where Bird (Occupy Democrats,2015) argues ‘90% of Americans wanted greater background checks for guns.’ However, the gun reform measures were defeated in the Senate leading an infuriated Obama(2013) to argue ‘how can something that has 90% support not happen?’

Moreover, the codified US constitution does not even provide for a democratic electoral system to elect the President. The electoral college system is not very proportional in the sense that the winner of the electoral college doesn’t necessarily have the majority of popular vote. This has happened a number of times; the most recent being in 2000 with the election of Bush and Gore. Gore won ‘48.38% of the popular vote and received 266 electoral college votes’(Leip,2012), whereas Bush got ‘47.87% of the vote and 271 electoral college votes.’ Leip,2012)


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