Why in a representative democracy the politicians lie, and often don’t keep their promises, and in a direct democracy they don’t.

In a direct democracy, politicians have to make promises the voters like, even if they are bad for the long term, or have no intention of keeping them. They also have to discredit political rivals, using almost any means.

Because in a representative democracy the only job of the voters it to elect politicians, voters do not feel responsible if the promises do not turn out to be as wonderful as the politicians promised. The voters can change the government, but all that does is change the promises.

In a representative democracy, any politician who wants to get elected can not tell voters things they will not like to hear either, even if they are best  for the country over the medium and long term.

These problems direct democracy fixes. Direct democracy cuts through the political “smoke and mirrors”; it adapts to reality and to the practical interests of the people.

In a direct democracy, politicians propose policies and laws but the people always have the final say. Having the final say also makes voters very responsible in their decisions.

Direct democracy radically changes the point of view of those making the decisions and passing laws.

This is so because the voters do not have to get elected or re-elected; voters think long term because they want to leave a good country for their children, politicians in a representative democracy can not do that.

The representative democracy system does not work that way; the next election is paramount. There is no room for long-term thinking; politicians talk “about the future” but they behave for the next election, or the next vote in the legislature. The end result is the deterioration we see in representative democracies.

This is why no representative democracy is a responsibly governed as Switzerland; the only established direct democracy we have. In Switzerland, the voters decide, and decide responsibly.

There nothing superior about the Swiss; when the citizens are responsible for what happens in the country, they are not interested either in demagogical, messianic, polarising, absolutist policies promising “heaven on Earth”. We can all do what the Swiss do, but we have to push ton get that system.

Some say that direct democracy can turn into the “dictatorship of the majority”. This is absurd, pure armchair speculation. Just look at Switzerland, the only established democracy we have. All you have to do is enter “Switzerland’s direct democracy” in your computer or phone.

In a direct democracy, “promise inflation” (a way of lying) does not happen either because the politicians can not promise much.

But there are other problems in a representative democracy, the politicians come up with more than promises, they come up with tricks to get voters to deceive themselves

One trick is inflation. Another trick, to prevent raising taxes, is to borrow money to pay for the nice promises; but we know what happens when a country has too much debt and an economic crisis arrives.  There are many more tricks.

This system of “promises and vicious criticism of rivals” weakens, and ultimately will destroy representative democracy. In reality, representative democracy is not democracy, it is an alliance of elected oligarchs and other elites.

Perhaps the biggest weakness of representative democracy is that it does not make voters responsible; direct democracy does.

This is why all representative democracies should evolve into direct democracies; the elected politicians will still have the important role of proposing policies and laws, but the people decide.

 

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