Republicanism is a form of government in which the supremacy of the State rests with the people, either with the entire body of active citizens or with a major part of it. On the basis of popular sovereignty, the government is exercised directly or indirectly through the elected representatives. Any government which is organised in this form is considered to be a republic.
Features of a Republican Government
1. All the people in the country must have a say in the government.
2. The representatives of the people must be in constant interaction with the people.
3. The government tolerates the influence of public opinion.
4. Political parties with different programme are allowed to participate in elections to choose their representatives.
5. The electorate is allowed to change the government through the electoral process.
Advantages of the Republican Form of Government
1. It gives the people the opportunity to elect the best candidates to represent them in government.
2. It provides the opportunity for people to participate in government and thereby have a sense of belonging to the State.
3. It has no room for a despot or dictator.
4. It is in conformity with democratic form of government.
5. All the people are given equal treatment and opportunities in the process of government.
6. Republican government are legitimate because those who rule are popularly elected by the people.
7. A republican government is well suited to a country with many ethnic groups and different cultural traditions.
Disadvantages of the Republican Form of Government
1. It cannot work well in societies where the electorates are ignorant.
2. Decisions of government are taken after due consultation with the representatives of the people. This brings unnecessary delay in decision making.
3. It can degenerate into mob rule if not well organised.
4. The representatives of the people in a republican form of government may develop loyalty to the areas and people they represent, rather than to the nation.