You may be wondering exactly what Direct Democracy is and how it works. Direct Democracy is a form of government that is said to be by the people, but also for the people. It is a type of government that the people will make the decisions for themselves rather than to have the decisions made by representatives. Another term used to describe Direct Democracy is pure democracy or “true” democracy.
Some like to argue that democracy is empowering in a sense that it enables one to exercise control over their own life and act together with others to change the direction it is going in. Democracy also requires one to be accountable. The politician that is elected must be accountable for their decisions. It also requires them to have effective representation.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to Direct Democracy:
- Raises issues that others may want to hide
- Restores authority to the people, and makes them responsible, not the parties.
- Curbs the imbalance of power, makes politicians responsible to the people
- Gets the community involved
- Makes for better legislation
- Politicians are forced to act on petitions instead of throwing them out right away.
- Helps to gain control over Parliament and the direction of the country.
- Restores parliamentary government with representatives
- Makes politicians be accountable
- The media and government may attempt to influence the decisions made by the people.
- Increase in referenda
- Some people may be more politically active than others
Direct democracy gives the steering wheel for government to the people. As you noticed above there are both many advantages and disadvantages to direct democracy. This form of government is already in effect in Switzerland and some states in the United States.