I apologize for not writing since Sept. 16th. (I had to get the basement of my house ready for my daughter, her husband, dog, and cat to quarantine for 14 days).
Direct democracy means voters make the key decisions, not the politicians. Two of the benefits of direct democracy are no riots and no bitter debates. There are several reasons that explain why this is so.
In direct democracy voters, at any time, can decide the key issues. Because of that, in direct democracy politicians have to listen to the voters all the time, not just at election time, like they do in representative democracy. If the politicians do not listen, the people can stop whatever the politicians want to do.
When governments and legislators listen to the people, the people are not alienated and have no need to riot or revolt.
Not only that; when voters directly decide the issues, democratically, the people who oppose the decision will accept it much more readily than if the decision is made by politicians.
Because they need the support of the people to govern, in direct democracy political parties have also learned to negotiate, to compromise, in order to please the majority of voters. They know that if they don’t do that, the citizens might kill the law or any decision politicians make.
In direct democracy, even if the politicians from all parties unanimously agreed on something, voters can still reject the politician’s decisions. Naturally, voters are unlikely to do that if the majority of them find acceptable what the politicians propose.
Because of direct democracy, the major parties have learned the best way to govern is in a coalition, cooperatively.
But there is more; in direct democracy one citizen, a small group, any political party, can make proposals to be voted on by all voters. If the people approve the proposal, the politicians, the government, have to abide by it. This mechanism also allows for the views of minorities to be evaluated by all voters. In this way, it helps prevent the alienation of minorities.
In a representative democracy, things are very different. In representative democracy, governments and parliaments only have to “listen” to voters at election time or, perhaps, if voters take to the streets or riot.
Representative democracy also makes it easy for politicians to “forget” the promises they make at election time. This is so because, between elections, voters have no decision-making power at all on the issues. Only at election time politicians have to “listen”. Often they seem to pretend to listen by telling voters whatever the polls say voters want to hear; it has little to do with a real interest in what concerns the voter.
This is why, in representative democracy, politicians do things they never said at election time they would do. Other times it is even worse; they do the opposite of what they promised, and there is nothing the voters can do to stop them.
Even at election time, voters can not change decisions already made by politicians. All voters can do is elect someone who promises to change the law, or the decision made by the previous government.
It is obvious the system of representative democracy gives politicians much more power than direct democracy. In representative democracy, politicians clearly have all the executive power, the people have none. Such democracy no longer makes sense.
The drive for such power also makes politicians in representative democracy work much more aggressively. They fight and fight to get elected and re-elected. Winning an election in representative democracy means much more to the politician than in direct democracy.
The more you learn about direct democracy, and the more you compare it to representative democracy, the more sense direct democracy makes.
Tomorrow, Part II of “Direct Democracy; no riots, no vicious debates”.