In 1848 the Swiss copied the Americans and the French. Today, the Americans, the French and all other representative democracies need to copy the Swiss

The American Revolution inspired the democratic movement in Switzerland. From France, the Swiss adopted the practice of the popular referendum.

Sadly, both “masters” have fallen behind the “pupil”. I am not sure if it is because the “masters” forgot what they knew, or if it is because the “pupil” kept moving forward. I suspect there are elements of both.

The French have forgotten about the referendum as the instrument for the people to exercise their power.

The Americans never practiced the popular the referendum. The American Constitution is supposed to be a “living and breathing” document. Unfortunately, the American people have no say in the life and breath of the Constitution.

In the United States, only politicians can change the Constitution. Ironically, the US Constitution states that the American people gave themselves the Constitution, but now they have no power to change the document they gave themselves, makes no sense.

The Americans went backward also when they tolerated that the Supreme Court judges have power over the people and the elected representatives. The Supreme court of the United States decides if a law is in accordance with the Constitution or not.  In this regard, the US Supreme Court has more power than the people and their representatives together; makes no sense either.

The 9 judges of the US Supreme Court can decide what is or is not Constitutional and, therefore, what is good or not for the Country. That should not happen in a democracy.

Politicians appoint the US Supreme Court judges, after much argument in the US Senate, the hearings.  We all have seen how “calm”, and “rational” the hearings have become.

In the US, whatever party has the majority in the Senate decides who will be the next Supreme Court judge. The fights are vicious, perhaps in part because the US Supreme Court judges are there for life and have huge power.

US Supreme Court judges can not be removed from office unless the Senate votes to do so by a two-thirds majority; it has never happened. The appointment for life makes no sense for people with immense power.

In the US, you have politicians with more power than the people. You also have the politicians appointing Supreme Court Judges who also have more power than the people and even the politicians. The American people have zero power over Supreme Court Judges. The judges interpret the Constitution and the people have to shut up.

In France the situation is even worse; the Constitutional Council is the highest court in France deciding what is or is not constitutional. Hold on to your seats now! In the current Constitutional Council, the following people serve; Laurent Fabius, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Claire Bazy-Malaurie, Corinne Luquiens, Michel Pinaut, Dominique Lottin, Alain Juppe, Jacues Mezard, Francois Pillet.

They are all former presidents of France or people appointed by Presidents of France, by the President of the French National Assembly or by the President of the French Senate. Former French Presidents also have the automatic right to serve in the Council. More control of the Council by the political establishment is not possible.

It is absurd that politicians and political appointees decide what the Constitution means; the people should decide that.

Democracy is supposed to be “government by the people”, but all the people can do in representative democracies, not just in France and the US, is elect the politicians. After the election, the people have zero power over the politicians and over judges. The people can demonstrate and scream, but that’s it. The media, the lobbies and the editorialists have more power of influence over the politicians and the judges than the people.

The people should decide what the Constitution means and should also decide if it needs changes. But should do it, not by i riots or demonstrations, they should decide via a calm, free, deliberate, and deliberative public debate, followed by a referendum.

The Swiss, once again, show the way. In Switzerland, the Supreme Court is expressly barred from ruling on Constitutional matters. The politicians can not touch the constitution without the explicit consent of the majority of the people. The people are the ultimate authority on the Constitution.

If in a democracy, the people give themselves the Constitution, it is obvious the people must be the final authority on the Constitution; the people must have the power to change it and to approve or reject any change proposed by the politicians.

Changing the constitution is not rocket science or neurosurgery, it is much more complicated, that is why the people have to decide. I am convinced the common sense required to make democracy work is a far deeper intelligence than the intelligence required for rocket science or neurosurgery. It is because Common Sense takes into account many more variables.

It is time democracy be ruled by the common sense of the majority; not by elected or appointed elites. It is time for direct democracy.

Words are not facts; representative “democracies” are not in fact democracies and, because of that, they are not sustainable

We understand democracy as “government by the people”. This means that the will of the people, the will of the majority, prevails.

In representative democracies, the only moment the will of the majority prevails is at election time. Once they vote, all executive power is in the hands of the elected representatives.

The representatives have all the power; the elected executive executes, the elected legislature passes the laws, and together they decide who sits in the highest courts of the land. It is obvious they have all the power.

Representative democracy is not ruled by the people at all.

In a real democracy, the will of the majority would prevail at all times in all important issues.  To have that, we we need decision-making mechanisms that do not exist in representative democracies.

It starts with the constitution of the country; it is a funny thing that in representative democracies the constitutions, more or less state:  “the people give themselves the constitution”, yet the people do not have the authority to change the constitution.

Let me give you a few examples.

This is what the preamble to the US Constitution says: “

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Yet, in the US only the legislators, in Washington and each state, have the power to change the constitution, the people can not do that. The elected representatives change the constitution without the consent of the people.

In France, things are not very different; the President can start a revision of the constitution. If three-fifths of the legislature approve the revision, they change the constitution; the people have no say at all.

In the UK is much the same. The UK does not have a formal constitution; there are several “basic laws”. Together, these laws amount to a UK Constitution. In the UK, like in the US and in France, the people do not have the power to change the basic laws, the politicians do.

On to Germany; the preamble to the German Basic Law, equivalent to the constitution in other countries, states: “Inspired by the determination to promote World peace as an equal partner in a United Europe, the German people, in the exercise of their constituent power, have adopted this Basic Law.”

It is not true the German people “… adopted this Basic Law”. The Basic Law rules Germany because the four Allied powers of WW II, and the politicians in West and East Germany, decided in 1990 the contents of the Basic Law; the Constitution of Germany. The German people never decided to adopt the Basic Law; not much democracy there.

The German Basic law also states. “All state authority is derived from the people”. Sadly, without the consent or agreement of the German people, if two-thirds of the legislators agree to change the Basic Law, they change the Basic Law.

Italy is not much different; the politicians can propose a change to the Italian Constitution. If two-thirds of the elected representatives agree on the change, then the Constitution changes, there is no requirement to involve the people.

So, never mind the solemnity of the words; “the people are sovereign”, “the people gave themselves the constitution”. What sort of sovereignty is it if “the sovereigns” can not make their will prevail?

Sovereignty means having “supreme political power”. The facts on the ground show that in representative democracies the people do not have supreme political power.

In most other representative democracies, things are not too different. The most citizens can do in very few countries, such as Denmark, is approve or reject what the politicians propose for the constitution.

Regarding ordinary laws under the constitution, forget it, the people have no power to say much unless the politicians so decide or… they take to the streets…

Only Switzerland, with its special version of direct and representative democracy, can claim that the people are really sovereign. Over there, the people do have direct control over the constitution and also over all laws under the constitution.

Because of the imbalance of power between the politicians and the people, representative democracies do not really function as democracies. They can not because the people have no executive or legislative power. As a result, politicians gradually accumulate more power and the people feel gradually more alienated. Over time, this imbalance is explosive.

Unfortunately, the “explosion-implosion” of political systems always catch the elites by surprise. It happened to the Czar, to the French King, to the English King in the US, and on and on.

The time to act is now. We need to do what the Swiss did in the 1800s; peacefully pressure, and pressure and pressure politicians until they relent, until in all our countries we have, at least what the Swiss have. We can not give in or give up, we need direct democracy urgently. Populisms are the symptoms, the illness is non-functioning representative democracies.


Direct democracy means “rule by the people”, not “mob rule” or “tyranny of the majority”

I am sure most of the people who dislike direct democracy believe voters should not have so much power. Somehow, they feel “I cannot trust the people”, although they exclude themselves, I suppose.

Democracy, even representative democracy, sits on the belief “I can trust the people”. If we do not believe that, we do not believe in democracy; representative or direct. Rule by elites, even if elected, is not a democracy, democracy is rule by the people.

I suspect others oppose direct democracy because it shifts the balance of power to the people and away from the politicians and those around them, the lobbies, the pressure groups, the “opinion leaders”, and so on.

For a thoughtful voter, for the average voter, it is a lot more difficult to figure out how a politician will decide once elected than to decide by himself o herself.

Ordinary voters are capable of making hard decisions; they do it in their personal and professional lives. They can also decide if health care should be universal and financed with taxes or universal and privately financed, or something in-between. Voters can also decide if taxes should be raised or lowered, or if a new highway is necessary, or if nuclear electricity should be canned.

In a direct democracy, the voters decide, but they do it after ample, open, public, and orderly debate on the pros and cons of what the politicians want to do. They listen to politicians on all sides, to experts, to others in their families, etc. After that process, the voters can make an informed decision on any issue, no matter how “complex”.

Another enormous benefit of direct democracy is that decisions are more readily accepted by the losers after a citizen’s referendum, than a decision made by a politician sitting very far. If after open and fair debate, and a trusted voting system, your side loses the argument before your fellow citizens, the only rational thing to do is accept the verdict, and people do.

In a direct democracy, the people elect representatives, but the politicians still draft laws and make decisions.

In a direct democracy, all important decisions by politicians have to survive far more thorough scrutiny than in representative democracy. They are scrutinized by other politicians, by the experts, and by the people. Keep also in mind that there are many experts among ordinary voters, even if they do not work in known institutions.

Because the people have the final say, in a direct democracy the elected representatives become useful advisors to the people. The people now have the right to say to the executive and the legislative: “look, the law you propose, the treaty you think we should sign, the purchase of new jets for the air force, keeping nuclear electricity, etc., maybe are the right thing to do, but enough of us among the voters, do not agree, we want our fellow citizens to decide if they support what you propose”.

Another advantage of direct democracy is that the lobbies can not pressure ordinary voters in the way they can pressure elected politicians; voters do not need the money of the corporations, the unions, the media, or other groups for election or re-election.

An additional benefit of direct democracy is that, because politicians do not have the final say, the pressure groups do not pressure them as much as they do in representative democracies. In this way, it is easier for politicians to make decisions for the good of the majority.

Just a word about direct democracy. California and other American States do not have real direct democracy for two reasons; the first one is that there is no direct democracy in the United States at the national level. As long as California is in the US it can not have direct democracy where it would most count; at the federal level.

The second reason is that in the United States the courts can overturn the results of popular referendums. In Switzerland, even the Supreme Court can not do that.

The facts speak for themselves; look at the history and the present of Switzerland under direct democracy. Direct democracy has been, and is, wonderful for Switzerland; a great standard of living, low corruption, the great trust of the people in government, continuous evolution of laws and the constitution to the changing values of the people, no riots, no demagogues.

The facts on the ground prove it; the German majority which constitutes 63% of the population, does not vote to oppress the French, the Italian, the Romansch or of other minorities.

Certainly, in Switzerland, there is no “tyranny of the majority” or “mob rule” either.

On the contrary, it is in representative democracies where we see the riots that can lead to mob rule. We saw that recently in France, in the United States, and other representative democracies.

If correctly implemented, direct democracy is the next step in the development of democracy. The advance representative democracies need is systemic, not ideological. It is not an “advance” to the left or the right, it is an advance in decision-making. “We pay, we decide”. The time has come.

We can trust the people.

Government in a representative democracy is not “government of the people”

The government in a representative democracy is not the “government of the people”.

You might have heard the expression: “Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

“Government of the people” means “we, the people, govern ourselves.” The expression means that the people who govern us come from among us, ordinary citizens. The implication is that, since those we elect are “us”, the government is “ours”.

In reality, it is not like that.

Representative democracy is a clear advance over systems where those who govern are the aristocracy, nobility or royalty. Unfortunately, the “government of the people” is far from what it sounds like.

“Government of the people” seems to mean that the people are the government; that they elect representatives just because it is the practical thing to do, but government identifies with the people.

Those of us who live in representative democracies know the government does not identify with us. Only at election time do the representatives pay proper attention to voters. Electing representatives from among “people like us” has little to do with “government of the people”.

It is true those we elect do not belong to the ruling class by birth, at least most of them don’t, but in a representative democracy we have an elected ruling class, and we shouldn’t.

Once we elect the representatives, we have no power at all over them. All voters can do when the representatives make a decision they don’t like is write, complain, demonstrate, and… wait until the next election.

Unfortunately, the next election often is several years away. How can we say “government of the people” if all we can do is vote for someone else at the next election, but do nothing before that time?

We can vote them out of office, but that does not change the decision that made us mad; that is not the “government of the people”.

To elect those who rule over us does not make government, “government of the people.”

It does not matter if the government is left-leaning, right-leaning, or centrist; electing representatives do not constitute “government of the people”.

What kind of “government of the people” is it if the elected can raise taxes, change any law, make new laws, even change the constitution against the will of the people?

But there is more; in theory, those we elect come from among us, in the sense they are not nobility or royalty, but the way politics works in representative democracies, produces elected representatives who in most cases belong to the “ruling class”, to the “political class”.

Those who run the political parties, those in government and parliaments, have become a political aristocracy. The names change, the individuals may go, but while they are part of the executive or the legislative, they are a true aristocracy.

Like old-style aristocracy, our elected representatives have many privileges, and they do not ask us if we think they deserve them either; excellent salaries, excellent pensions, excellent offices, privileges while they travel, nice expense accounts, cushy well-paid jobs once they leave active politics and more.

Our elected representatives may have ordinary names and come from ordinary families, but they live like a true aristocracy while they are in office, and often also after they leave.

When one elected representative loses to a rival, that person may lose power and privilege, but the person replacing him or her will keep the same privileges, we just switch “aristocrats”

Sometimes, in representative democracies, we even have families who produce elected representatives for generations, the Kennedys are one example.

“Government of the people” only happens if the government identifies with what the people want, and not just at election time.

In the coming posts, I will deal with what  “Government by the people” and “Government for the people” mean.

The facts on the ground show only Direct Democracy is the “government of the people.”

Direct democracy develops citizens and governments who are more responsible with public money.

How do we know that?

Because there is a very interesting study; “The Political Economy of Direct Legislation:Is There a Role of Direct Democracy in EU Decision-Making?

The study was performed by two Swiss researchers, Lars P. Feld and Gebhard Kirchgässner of the University of St. Gallen’s, Swiss Institute of International Economics and Applied Economic Research.

The researches were interested in how direct democracy could help decision-making in the European Union, but the study is useful for the citizens of any country interested in responsible government.

The researchers conclude that, when the citizens directly decide public spending, the government spend less and taxes are lower, the government is more responsible.

Centering the study in Switzerland helps answering the “two million dollar question”: If voters are responsible for spending and for taxes, do they vote for spending less and controlling tax rates?, do they say “no” to the new road, the expended social program or the new public swimming?

Switzerland is also interesting because not all cities and towns offer voters the opportunity to directly approve public spending and taxes.

The researches found spending and taxes are lower in the Cantons, (a Canton is roughly similar to an American State or a German Lander), where the voters directly control spending and taxes.

They detected an even more important effect in cities and towns where voters directly control spending.

They found that the Cantons with referendums, enabling citizens to control spending, spend 10% less than cantons where citizens did not have that power.

The effects of citizen power were even clearer in cities; wherever voters can control spending, spending was 20% lower. Cities where direct democracy enables citizens to control spending also have lower public debt; the researchers found their debt per resident was 11 000 USD.

But it is important to know one thing; in Switzerland, most taxes are paid at the local and Canton (state) level, in the US and most other representative democracies, even in places where voters can control public spending at the state or local level, voters pays most taxes to the national government.

If citizens can control spending at the local level but most of the spending and taxation is decided at the national level, and there is no direct democracy at the national level, it should not be surprising voters do not feel responsible for taxation and public spending at any level; “the politicians decide, we can not do much about that.” Voters can not do much when most governing parties are big on spending.

In Switzerland, most taxes and spending take place close to the voters, at the local and canton (state) level, but Swiss voters also control the spending of the national government. Swiss voters have learned to become prudent spenders, because they know they pay, and they know how much.

The evidence indicates direct citizen control of public spending and taxes makes citizens and governments more fiscally responsible.

Some people say things like: “Direct democracy may work in Switzerland because it is a small country” (8.5 million people), but most Swiss cities and towns are like cities and towns in other countries.

The study in Switzerland is very interesting also because, by doing the study in the same country, it minimizes cultural differences. The study shows that when citizens of roughly similar cultural backgrounds behave more prudently when they have the final say on public spending. The study did not look at differences among the German, French, Italian or Romansch-speaking areas of Switzerland.

If you want your town, city, region, province, state or nation to be better managed, more responsibly managed, you can start by pushing for direct democracy on issues that are fully controlled in your country at the region, province, town and city levels.

The US needs direct democracy now, badly.

In this post I will answer those who believe direct democracy will not be of benefit to the American people.

For example, there is a website, On Sept 17, 2019, The Conversation posted their views on direct democracy and the US; “Expanding direct democracy won’t make Americans feel better about politics”, according to them.  defines itself as “an independent source of news and views, from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public”. is one of many people who also believe direct democracy is not helpful. speaks, for example, of “the chaos there (in the UK) began in a form of direct democracy, when UK voters set in motion their exit from the European Union”.

They continue: “normally, such major policy would have been initiated, deliberated and voted by their elected officials in Parliament”. “The Brexit mess is an example of the disruptive potential of direct democracy.”

Brexit was a democratic decision but it was not direct democracy. One referendum called by a government is not direct democracy at all.

Brexit was not direct democracy because it was the government, not the people, who decided to put the issue to a referendum. In a direct democracy the people have the power to decide what and when to put something to a referendum; they do not need any decision by government.

It was not an exercise on direct democracy either because it was not a legally binding referendum; the UK Parliament has the legal power to disregard Brexit, even now. In a direct democracy, that is not be possible.

The fact is that UK is a representative democracy, not a direct democracy. This means the government did not have to get the approval of citizens to join the EU either. The people had no say in the matter.

The Brexit referendum was one vote expressing the will of the majority of the people; direct democracy it is a established, systematic way for the people to be the final decision makers and to prevail over the elected representatives. That is not what they have in the UK, or in California.

In California, the courts, can even declare invalid the results of a referendum, that is not direct democracy. In Switzerland, even the Supreme Court of Switzerland can not say “no” to the results of a referendum.

As for the “disruptive potential” of direct democracy, which  concerns, it is one of the best things direct democracy offers. It allows the people to cause disruption democratically; peacefully, orderly, in free and secret voting. This is as “government by the people” should be.

The writers of also state that the citizen’s initiative is bad for democracy because “mainly encourages greater conflict rather than produce political and social benefits.” The also say their research shows direct democracy increases polarization.

Let us look at the facts on the ground. Lets us look at the Swiss experience with direct democracy.

The Swiss have been using citizen’s initiatives since 1891 and have more experience with them than anyone else.

There is no doubt that in Switzerland, direct political decisions made by the people, as practiced at the national (federal), cantonal (sate) and local level, are far less polarized than in America . This includes areas where the United States does not have direct democracy at all, as is the case with the federal government. More polarization than in America’s national elections is not easy to find! State governments without direct democracy at all are also heavily polarized.

Real direct democracy does to society precisely the opposite of what states about polarization. For example, in Switzerland, the national federal government is always a coalition of the 4-5 major parties, they include 70% to 80% of the electorate. The coalition includes parties on the Left, Right and Center. is wrong; if you want less polarization in the United States, or any other representative democracy, direct democracy will reduce polarization.

By evolving into a direct democracy, at all levels of government, the US will not live again the situation it has now. The root problem in the US is that the President, Congress and the Supreme Court have more power than the people. That is why they fight so hard for those positions, that is what generates polarization.

When the people have more power than the three institutions mentioned, the incentives to fight viciously, and even to cheat, will radically diminish. That is the experience of Switzerland.


Isn’t this beautiful?

Town of Bernex, Switzerland.

Bernex is a town of about 10 000 people near the City of Geneva, in the French-speaking area of Switzerland.

In 2019, the municipal government of the town decided that it would be good for the community to get a loan for about 2 million US dollars to add 5 stops to the streetcar line of the TCOB. The TCOB is a transportation system that serves the City of Geneva and its surroundings.

After reviewing the reports by the municipal Committee of Economy and Safety, and also the Committee of Finances and Administration, the Municipal Council felt that the development of the 5 streetcar stops was a project that would benefit the town.

In view of that, the municipal council of Bernex approved the decision to apply for a loan of 1 960 000.00 Swiss Francs (2 178 000.00 US Dollars) to finance building the stops.

The project approved by the Council detailed the size of the stops, the solar electric panels that would cover the stops. The project stated the solar power generated would save the town 556 000.00 US Dollars in its power bill over 30 years. The stops would also have selective recycling bins and  local information panels, as well as places to park bicycles, etc.

The Council approved the decision, with 12 votes in favor and 10 against.

In other places, probably in your town, that would be the end, and the project would go ahead. But in Switzerland is not like in most places. In Switzerland, ordinary citizens can call a referendum. I mean, the citizens call the referendum, not the Municipal Council. It is not a consultative referendum either; one of those the authorities can ignore. In Switzerland, the results of a referendum are binding. The people are the ultimate authority.

This means that if a majority of the residents of Bernex vote “non” (Bernex is in French-speaking Switzerland), then there will be no loan and no streetcar stops. If the majority votes “oui”, then the decision of the municipal government will go ahead.

In Bernex, if a person or a group of friends gets 8% of the residents to sign the demand for a referendum, then the town must hold a binding referendum.

In the case of Bernex, which has a population of 10 000, 800 signatures were necessary. The proponents of the referendum also had to collect the signatures within 4 months of the publication of the decision by the Municipal Council.

The group of citizens collected the required 800 signatures, and they did it within the 4-month deadline.

The citizens arguing against the plan argued that the size of the stops was unnecessarily large and that this went against the Town’s environmental goals.

They also stated the municipal council underestimated the cost of the solar panels and that the overall cost of the project was excessive.

The citizens proposed an alternative plan to save the town 1 667 000.00 US Dollars.

The town called the referendum and published the document explaining the contents of the municipal council proposal. The document also included the proposal presented by the concerned citizens who oppose the project.

The documentation also included the recommendations of the local political parties. Some parties were in favour of the project, some weren’t.

In the document, the municipal council asked the citizens to vote “oui” to the plan approved by the council.

Also, in the document, the citizens asked voters to reject the project and vote “non”.

The people voted on Sept 28, 2020.  The turnout was 58.78%. 39.58% of voters said “oui” to the municipal council proposal, 60.42% voted “non”.

This means that the project, as presented by the authorities, is dead.

Why can’t you decide in your town like the people of Bernex decided in Bernex, and like they also do all over Switzerland, in towns, cities, even at the national level?

You pay the taxes, shouldn’t you decide?. Why are you unable to stop the building of a new street, a new roundabout, a new school, etc.? Why can’t you propose projects and bylaws in your town?

You can’t because the politicians in your town and country do not want you to curtail their power to decide.

The Swiss people had to press, press, and press their politicians until they relented. Do that too in your country, to give yourselves genuine power.





With direct democracy there would not be an election mess in the US.

This post is not about the current dispute in the US about possible cheating in the presidential election. It is about showing how direct democracy would have prevented it.

The post is about illustrating how in a direct democracy election cheating is far less likely to happen. Even if it happened, it would not be as important as in a representative democracy.

In a direct democracy, parties and candidates do not fight like they do in a representative democracy. The reason is simple; winning or losing does not mean as much, because winning does not mean “power” like it does in a representative democracy.

Direct democracy is about the people making the important decisions about budgets, social programs, the economy, major public expenses, taxes, health system, education, treaties with other countries, etc. In a direct democracy, the people also have power over the laws and the constitution.

When the people have the final say, the elected representatives do not. This means they do not have the incentives to do what we see; to aggressively fight, or to cheat.

In a direct democracy, the elected representatives in the executive and the legislative have no power to raise or lower taxes, to make major public expenditures, to sign treaties, to make or change laws, change the constitution, etc., without the approval of the people.

That is why a direct democracy works better and is more stable than a representative democracy, provided that the people have common sense and respect for each other.

In a direct democracy, the people have double power; power to stop the elected representatives in the executive and the legislature, but they also have power to introduce new laws and to change the constitution. As you know, in the US, and in any other representative democracy, the people do not have that power.

The power of voters in a direct democracy, to stop the money from going where the lobbies want, prevents decisions favouring particular interests at the expense of the common good.

With less power in the hands of politicians, the current bitter fights between Trump and Biden, between Republican and Democrat senators and congressional representatives, to get elected would not happen.

In a direct democracy, winning is not so important because, whoever wins, can not do much without the consent of the voters.

In a representative democracy, “voters vote and the politicians forget about them until the next election.” In a direct democracy, “voters vote and have the power to make sure the politicians do not forget them”.

Perhaps in your country the fights for power are not as aggressive as in the United States, but if you have a representative democracy, your politicians have too much power. Control by relying on elections is weak control, as you probably know.

Representative democracy is more like an elected oligarchy; while in power, the elected representatives do anything they want.

Representative democracy is heads and shoulders about any other regime; autocratic, authoritarian, one-party rule or one-religion rule, and that is good. But representative democracy is not really a democracy when you compare it with direct democracy.

If you would like to make things better, you can bring real democracy to your country.


other regime; autocratic, authoritarian, one-party rule or one-religion rule, and that is good. But representative democracy is not really a democracy when you compare it with direct democracy. 

If you would like to make things better, you can bring real democracy to your country.


Tired of the politician’s fights for power?

If you are tired of the fights, tired of the polarization, tired of politics infiltrating every institution, you can do two things; you can continue to be tired, or you can do something.

You should do something because if you don’t things will not get better. They will get worse because of the excessive power we give politicians allows them to accumulate more power, decade after decade.

Such power does not mean directly oppressive power, it often means control by executive decisions, laws, regulations, allocation of budgets, etc.

In a representative democracy, politicians have all the decision-making power. When we elect them we give them the authority to decide for us. Between elections, representative democracy has no formal, effective mechanism to have the will of the people prevail on any issue. Protests are not enough; they are the symptom of the problem.

If the politicians pass a new law, raise taxes, lower them, establish a minimum wage, remove it, nationalize health care or privatize it, the will of the majority has no way of being expressed and prevail on those issues.

All the majority can do in a representative democracy to reverse the changes, is wait for the next election and put another party in power. Hopefully, the new government will undo what the previous government did. Unfortunately, the new party in power rarely changes things; perhaps they prefer to avoid the controversy, or they find other issues more important. What they never do is reduce the power of government.

That is the weakest point of a representative democracy; the people do not control the decisions of politicians at the time they make them.

Democracy is “government by the people”,  it should not be “government by the representatives of the people”.

The way it works turns representative democracy into an elected oligarchy. It is a tremendous improvement over totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, but is not real democracy.

Another problem of having politicians deciding is that politicians look at issues through ideology, and also to win the next election, or the interests of the lobbies who influence them, or both.

Because of that, in a representative democracy, it is very difficult for politicians to keep the common good at the forefront; the system forces politicians to behave the way they do. To change that, you need to change the system.

In a direct democracy, things are very different because the people directly decide the issues; they decide based on the interests of the majority, as it should be in a democracy.

Some people say that direct decision-making by the majority can turn into “the tyranny of the majority”. Switzerland, the only direct democracy humanity has now, shows decade after decade, how the majority does not fall into that mistake.

Most voters are intelligent and they know that if they use direct democracy to oppress minorities, it will be impossible to live in harmony and peace

If most of the people do not have the common sense to understand that fairness is crucial, representative democracy will not survive either. We have seen how representative democracies have turned into totalitarian regimes. We have not seen that in a direct democracy.

I repeat what I said at the beginning; if you tired of the fights, tired of the polarization, tired of politics infiltrating every institution, you can work to bring direct democracy to your country.

You can do what the Swiss did. The Swiss had representative democracy, but they switched more than a century ago; they have not looked back. You probably also know Switzerland is the most stable and prosperous democracy in the World.

Direct democracy requires self-confident and informed voters.

Direct democracy means the people don’t just vote to elect representatives. In a direct democracy, the people also vote to decide issues. This means they have more executive and legislative power than the elected representatives.

But to assume such responsibility, the voters need more self-confidence, and also more information, than the voters in a representative democracy. The reasons are obvious; they need more self-confidence because they are directly responsible for how the country functions. They also need more information to exercise added responsibility.

Self-confidence and information are related; people feel more confident when they have better information on the issues.

In a direct democracy, the voters can no longer blame the politicians because the voters have the power.

Some people fear direct democracy and refer to it as “mob rule”. Mob rule has nothing to do with direct democracy. Direct democracy is about deliberate, orderly discussions and debates, followed by orderly, free, and fair voting by informed voters.

To get a real, fact-based view of what real direct democracy is about, enter in your computer or phone: “Swiss direct democracy”. On the Web, you will find lots of information about efficient and effective direct democracy. Switzerland can still improve its direct democracy, but that is another topic.

You may also be aware direct democracy does not work so well in other places. But that is not because of direct democracy. The problem is they do not really practice direct democracy, California is one example.

California’s direct democracy is not really so because, for example, the judges can throw out a decision made by the people in a free and fair referendum. In a direct democracy, the judges can not overturn the results of a referendum. How can that be direct democracy? it makes no sense.

Direct democracy also develops the maturity, sense of responsibility, sense of ownership of voters.

Maturity and responsibility also means that in a direct democracy, voters can no longer say, and do not say, what voters in representative democracies often say; “it is the politicians!”, “the bureaucrats!”, “the lobbies!”, “the political parties!”, “the rich!”, “the judges!” and on and on.

In a direct democracy, the voters have the power to pass new laws, reject laws, change the constitution, reduce taxes or raise taxes, purchase new fighter jets for the air force, legalize same-sex marriage, sign a treaty with another country, stop using nuclear energy or fossil fuels, build a new road or public swimming pool, etc.

How do you prepare ordinary voters to evolve into direct democracy voters? It is simple; ordinary, reasonable people can understand complex political issues in the same way ordinary people already understand other complex issues.

For example, juries of ordinary people have to decide if someone is guilty or not guilty. To reach their decision they have to understand the lawyers, the expert witness, the judges, and the law. Families also have to understand the legal implications of mortgages, etc.

Ordinary voters are really not different from elected politicians. Most politicians are not experts on most of the issues on which they vote either.

You know most politicians are not experts in technology, health, education, etc., but they pass laws on all those issues. They learn by listening to experts, getting to know different points of view, through discussions, watching debates, etc.

That is how they understand if the new law is necessary, what the law should say, if the army needs new equipment or any other issue. Most voters can also learn the same way.

You may like direct democracy, but to make it happen you have to work. Direct democracy is the natural evolution for representative democracy, but the evolution needs “help” because most politicians prefer representative democracy. They prefer it because it gives them more power.

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