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Is an unamendable constitution undemocratic?

Unamendability is a growing constitutional trend. But is it compatible with democratic values? Does unamendability force future generations into a necrocracy, the ‘dead hand’ grip of those that wrote the constitution? Does it place too much power in the hands of the judiciary? Can institutions face modern democratic challenges without the flexibility to amend the nation's constitution?

Yes, an unamendable constitution is undemocratic

A constitution is supposed to reflect the values of a society at a given time. An unamendable constitution binds future generations to past values, thereby reducing their democratic influence.

Democracy to necrocracy

Forcing future generations to be governed by the 'dead hand' of their founding fathers drags a democracy into a necrocracy.

The judicial branch holds all the power

The judicial branch becomes a legislative gatekeeper by effectively interpreting a dated constitution and applying that interpretation to modern legislation.

Increased instability

When the electorate cannot achieve constitutional reform through democratic means, they are more likely to pursue violent means of political change.

Generates apathy

Reducing constituents' democratic powers generates apathy and reduced democratic participation.

No, an unamendable constitution is democratic

Unamendable constitutions strengthen democracy by protecting citizens from a bad political actor in government.

Voters keep primary constituent powers

There is nothing stopping governments from writing a new constitution.

Democracy is more than a process

Democracy also involves protecting individual rights and personal freedoms. An unamendable constitution offers these protections.

Safeguards democracy

An unamendable constitution protects democracy from bad political actors.

Reduces social divisions

Unamendable constitutional elements reduce social tensions and political division.

It's a pointless question

The question has no relevance because states already bound to an unamendable constitution have no alternative at this point.

There is no alternative

For states that already have an unamendable constitution, there is no alternative. Therefore, the question is pointless as it has no practical application.

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020 at 15:49 UTC