Direct democracy; no riots

One key advantage of direct democracy; no riots.

If the United States had direct democracy things would be very different, and far less polarized. Trump would not be president, Black Lives Matter would not exist and the current riots would not take place.

With direct democracy, the US would evolve in a more cooperative, less convulsive, less confrontational way.

We only have one country in the World who practices direct democracy in a established, systematic manner, it is Switzerland.

In Switzerland they practice partial direct democracy because they still have elected politicians. But Swiss voters have direct power, real power, over their elected representatives. They exercise their power mostly via referendums.

With the results of referendums they force the politicians to manage and legislate in tune with the electorate. They do this at the local, state (canton) and national level.

But Swiss politicians and political parties are not in a state of playing cat and mouse with voters; they simply understand they have to work cooperatively with the voters and among themselves. As a result in Switzerland there is no opposition party because the opposition is in government too, always. Imagine that in the US and others representative democracies!

Swiss citizens have the power to  decide in the management of public affairs . This means that elites, lobbies and elected representatives can not set public policy like they do in the United States and other democracies. In the US policy and law making are far more removed from ordinary citizens.

If the US had direct democracy the current riots would not happen. They would not happen because direct democracy ensures governments are essentially sensitive to the concerns of ordinary citizens, not the interests of lobbies and “influencers”.

Direct democracy prevents turmoil because it keeps government in tune with majority and minority citizens.

In direct democracy, the citizens themselves can make changes that only elected representatives can make in representative democracies.

But it goes beyond; direct democracy voters can force elected representatives to make changes.

Voters can also stop changes that elected politicians may want to make.

In this way the government and the legislators continuously incorporate the will of the people in their decisions and actions.  By contrast, in representative democracy the will of the people counts during elections, not much between elections.

In direct democracy, people decide by means of referendums. Referendums may be mandatory by law or by the people. The power to call referendums is not in the hands of elected representatives.

Referendums take place also after serious and balanced debate of the issues. This reduces demagoguery, which in reality is the “art of seducing” voters without facts or data.

Referendums also “clear the air”. For example, if a majority of voters vote to legalize homosexual unions, those who voted against have no choice but to accept the decision. The people have decided.

Why have endless debates about gay marriage among politicians? Let the people decide.

Once the people have decided, what credibility would have those who lost if they riot?, not much.

Direct democracy also tones down “right” and “left” ideological positioning. In this way avoids polarization, a huge problem in the US now.

Polarization diminishes because direct democracy is about decisions on concrete issues, not about ideology.

Because of the excessive role of ideology we  see how “Right” and “Left” have become “faiths” who divide people into “believers” and “non-believers”. That is no good for any type of democracy.

Because of the “right-left” divide, many voters define themselves as being “conservative” or “progressive”. Once they do that it is hard for them to go against “their” beliefs and “their” party on most issues.

Another problem with excess ideology is that it also weakens voter’s ability to look at the facts in an open, pragmatic manner.

Some people say that direct democracy can become the “tyranny of the majority”.

That is not so. The people who say that are trapped in “left-right” thinking.

In direct democracy there is not a “right” or “left” majority. There are issues and the people decide.

In a referendum on a particular issue the majority may vote “left”, on another issue the majority may vote “right”. There is no permanent majority to become tyranny.

People who think in terms of the “tyranny of the majority”, do so because they see the “right-left” division as fixed as the law of gravity. It is not so. “Right-Left” exists only since the French Revolution.

“Right-Left” is a way of thinking about reality that direct democracy makes less important, even unnecessary.

Another problem is that, often the division between “right” and “left” is used to keep ordinary people divided and distracted from the real goals of the elites of the “right” and the “left”. Those goals are power and money, in one way or another. This is not a small problem in representative democracy.

The current riots would not happen in the US because direct democracy provides powerful ways for governments and legislators to have to listen to citizens. Representative democracy does not do that as effectively.

For example, with direct democracy at the local, state and national level, police officer selection and training in the US would be far better attuned to the community.

You would not have in police forces people like the obviously incompetent, possibly perturbed, white officer who killed the black man by pressing the man’s neck with the knee.

With direct democracy police unions and management would also work more cooperatively. If they did not, voters would change the laws and force them to.

Voters would also force politicians and police bosses to incorporate the union in the management team. This would also make unions more responsible and accountable, not just focused on “protecting their members”.

In the news they reported the white officer who killed the black man had complains because of his previous behaviour. I would like to know if the union contract made it impossible to fire or mandate deep retraining for such obviously unfit officer.

The more you know about direct democracy, the more sense it makes.

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