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Which Form of Governance is the best, Compare views of John Locke and Montesquieu - Term Paper Example

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Which Form of Governance is the best, Compare views of John Locke and Montesquieu

Particularly, Montesquieu and Locke agreed on the doctrine of separation of powers and the legitimacy of the government as being founded upon the will of the people, as shall be seen in the ensuing discourse.
John Locke’s ideas that characterize his persuasion on his opinion concerning the best form of government are mostly found in his Second Treatise on Civil Government. In this light, Locke believed that the best form of government is direct democracy. Locke believed that the best form of government had to have limited power. By the term limited power Locke meant that there had to be an existence of checks and balance.
John Locke postulated that such a government had to begin by the majority entering into a commonwealth as they choose their government. This majority may therefore choose to have a democracy wherein they retain their legislative powers. Conversely, the majority can also opt for an oligarchy wherein they subject legislative power to a small group of selected individuals. A monarchy may also be preferred upon by the majority, so that power is concentrated on an individual. So far, Locke’s perspective appears neutral (Locke, 54).
Locke’s neutrality is eradicated the moment he says that the majority should have the power to change the government and types of government. He also states that governments should be formed, based on the choices that subjects make. This seems to heavily resonate with the Vox populi, vox Dei notion which places the mandate and functions of the government as being ancillary to the will and voice of the masses. The notion that power to change the government and types of government should belong to the people also underscores the democratic principle that people can remove one regime and replace it with another which they deem more efficient and representational of their will. This lays ground for direct participation of the public in ...Show more
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Interestingly, a look at John Locke and Montesquieu’s treatises on the best form of government seem to have a point of…
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