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The basic premise of a constitutional democracy is that government has rulesand all of the people have voices Through free and fair elections we electcandidates to represent us The Constitution of the United States guaranteesus the right to do this and to live democratically The framers attackedtyrannical government and advanced the following ideas that government comesfrom below not from above and that it derives its powers from the consentof the governed that men have certain natural inalienable rights thatit is wise and feasible to distribute and balance powers within governmentgiving local powers to local governments and general powers to the nationalgovernment that men are born equal and should be treated as equal beforethe law The framers of the U S Constitution sought to make these ideasthe governing principles of a nation Constitutional democracy has threebasic elements Those being interacting values interrelated political processesand interdependent political structuresThe first idea of interacting values is popular consent Popular consentmeans that government must obtain consent for its actions from the peopleit governs It is similar to majority rule a political process in thatthe most popular acts or ideas of the people will be adopted by our governmentThere must be an allowance or willingness on behalf of the unpopular groupto losePopular consent may provide a means for judging parental consent laws forminors seeking abortion Since minors are not legally allowed to be competentto engage in sex to enter into contracts or to form sufficient informedconsent to agree to their own medical treatment it is incredible thatthey would be regarded as competent to make a life and death decision aboutsomething that later in life they might themselves regard as a real personwith individual rightsDrawing on several major contributions of the enlightenment including thepolitical theory of John Locke and the economic ideas of Adam Smithindividualism posts the individual human being as the basic unit out of whichall larger social groups are constructed and grants priority to his or herrights and interests over
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