Only direct democracy can save the United States, and other democracies too!

”Together”, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, those who support them, the political and economic globalist elites, the politicians in the US Congress, the Democrats, the Republicans, the rich, the academic and social elites, and now Trump himself, have showed representative democracy does not work.

Representative democracy can not work because of the excessive power it gives to elected politicians, to those the elected politicians appoint, and also to those who lobby and pressure the politicians with money or “news headlines”, to help them win elections.

Elected politicians, in Washington and state capitals, have too much power; it does not matter if they are Democrats or Republicans.

The key problem is that once elected, the people can not control the politicians; they can decide or pass any law, even if most voters are against them on the issue.

If the Presidency, the Senate, and the House are in the hands of the same party, you have a real oligarchy disguised as democracy. The debates in Congress are just “smoke and mirrors” to make ordinary people believe they are being represented, that the people they elected really “fight for them”. It is a charade.

It does not matter if the Republicans or the Democrats control the three institutions; the result is always that all the power is in the hands of the politicians.

It matters neither if no party controls the three institutions; together they control everything, even if in the fight to get exclusive control, each party attacks the other viciously.

The policies, regulations, and laws are different when one party controls everything, or if it has to share power with the rival party, but in no case do the people have a say on anything they do; all the people can do is complain, demonstrate, and perhaps riot.

For example, the Republicans might decide to reduce taxes to corporations, or reduce immigration, or allow fracking; the Democrats might do the opposite, but in both cases, the people who oppose those decisions can do nothing, even if they are the majority; it makes no sense.

The next election changes nothing in terms of representation of the people; if the voters remember things and throw one party out of power, all they achieve is put the other party in power. The only thing that then changes is the direction of the laws and policies; the people still have zero control over the politicians.

Things would be different if voters had the power to decide issues; they might have decided that this or that Trump or Obama policy, or this or that law goes too far, or does not go far enough.

Unfortunately, in a representative democracy, voters can not vote on issues.

To make matters worse, the citizens can not vote to introduce new laws and regulations either or change the constitution.

But something else is also bad; the state and federal supreme courts can make decisions that amount to making laws and set policies; this is not democracy at all.

Where is the “government by the people” that democracy is supposed to be in all of this?; it is nowhere because the people are powerless in a representative democracy.

Representative democracy can not work because the politicians can, and do, govern without taking into consideration what the people want on the specific issues that concern the people.

The politicians also use their excessive power to continuously increase their power over the citizens who elected them; it is remarkable how upside-down things can become in representative democracies!

No wonder in representative democracies trust in government is low. On the contrary, In the only direct democracy, humanity has, Switzerland, trust in government is the highest among all democracies; direct democracy causes that.

Without trust in politicians, democracy is dead.

What the US needs to save democracy, even the country, and other democracies too, is direct democracy; decimate the power of politicians. The people must have the final say on issues, policies, laws, regulations, and on the constitution itself.

Trump is not the problem, Sanders is not the problem. Trump and Sanders, and Ocasio-Cortez too, result from the disenchantment of most of the country, on the left and the right, with partisan politics and politicians.

“Neutralizing” Trump, Sanders or Ocasio Cortez, and pretend the people are content with their elected representatives, the judiciary, etc., not only will not fix the root problem, it will make it worse.

Calling Trump a “fascist demagogue”, or calling Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez “rabid socialists”, also makes problems worse by not addressing them.

The incidents in Washington caused by Trump supporters yesterday, and many incidents caused by leftists, would not occur if the US had a direct democracy. Direct democracy prevents such extreme polarization and alienation of voters.

The key political and social problems in the US, and other democracies, result from “representative” democracy’s failure at representing the people; “it is the system, stupid!”

The people on the Left, Right and Center have to get together on this and demand direct democracy now, it is urgent.

Direct democracy will unite the country too because it depoliticizes issues.

Victor Lopez

From the horse’s mouth; a splendid book about direct democracy!

The Swiss Embassy in Ottawa sent me this essential book. It is essential if you want to know direct democracy. It is also essential to explain to others how direct democracy really works in the country with the most experience with direct democracy.

Since the 1800s, the Swiss practice direct democracy at all government levels; the local, the cantonal, and the federal level. No other country comes close to Switzerland in the number of years, or in the breadth and depth, practicing democracy.

It is also important to know that if we do not have direct democracy at all levels; we do not really have direct democracy. Direct democracy is about the people having the final say on any policy or law the politicians at any level propose.

Voter responsibility can not develop well, especially if the country does not have direct democracy at the level of government in which politicians have the most power.

In most representative democracies, it is the national or federal government, the one with the most power. This means if there is no direct democracy at the national level, then there is no direct democracy.

This problem is very clear in the US state of California, and also in other US states, where they have some elements of direct democracy.

Many observers in California and the US complain; “direct democracy is not working in California”.

Of course, representative democracy is not working either because it is not democracy; this is why so many people are unhappy with representative democracy, and the number keeps growing. In the US, after the mess of the last presidential election, the distrust must have gone through the roof.

Regardless of what really happened with voting, when half the voters in the US believe the election was stolen, there is no way representative democracy will last.

When people say direct democracy is not working in California, the real problem is that California does not have is enough direct democracy, that is why it is not working.

To make matters worse, in California, the results of a popular referendum, no matter how clear the decision by the people, can be overturned by the courts; by the California Supreme Court and also by the US Supreme Court, and it has happened. What sort of government by the people is that?

This means that even at the state and local level, where many Californians believe they have direct democracy, they don’t have it.

They don’t, because the people of California do not have the last word, at any government level. If the people do not have the last word there is no direct democracy, no matter how many propositions and referendums take place in California, or anywhere else, every year.

This is why we should all read the book the Swiss Embassy in Ottawa sent me; “GUIDEBOOK TO DIRECT DEMOCRACY” written by Bruno Kaufmann, Rolf Büchi and Nadja Braun. It has been published by the Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe.

The book is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Finnish, and Chinese. Yes, in Chinese too, China-Taiwan is in fact taking big steps towards putting in practice the Swiss model of direct democracy.

That Taiwan is adopting direct democracy can huge implications, for you know who…

I believe the book can now be downloaded for free from this site

This is the table of contents of the book:

No fair and decent globalization without direct democracy. By Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation.

Initiatives & Referendums. Making democracy more truly representative.

The year of decisions. How a citizen deals with six elections and 30 referendums within ten months.

Citizens centre stage in politics. When the people put their collective foot on the accelerator.

Back to the future. The story of a democratic revolution at the heart of Europe.

As centralized as necessary, as decentralized as possible. On modern federalism.

The land of the contented losers. Direct democracy reveals where in society the shoe pinches.

Jura: democracy, not nationalism. How the Jura was able to make itself independent without violence.

The myth of the incompetent citizen. Direct-democratic rights have an effect on those who use these rights.

Out loud. Why complete strangers suddenly start talking to each other in public.

Added-value voting. A system which promotes growth strengthens society–and makes people happier.

Design determines the quality. Instructions for a citizen-friendly democracy.

The limits of direct democracy. The popular vote on banning minarets and lessons to learn.

The world of direct democracy. Modern direct democracy goes transnational.


Fact sheets 1– 30

World Survey: The Global Participation Challenge–with special features on the European Citizens Initiatives and the Americas

Glossary of direct-democracy terms

The Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe



The book will help you understand how direct democracy really can be made to work in your country, too.

No longer will you need to rely on articles and comments from “experts” who do not live in a direct democracy. Such “experts” write “articulate” speculations, without having first-hand knowledge.

Most of those “experts” are not fond of direct democracy. They like to pontificate about “democracy”, but when it comes to really bring about democracy, direct democracy, real democracy, they get cold feet.  Most of them do not really trust ordinary citizens; they do not trust their intelligence and character. They don’t because, at heart, they are elitists; they “talk the democratic game”, but they are not democrats.

Make others aware of this excellent book; a sort of “Swiss knife for direct democracy”.

Victor Lopez

Low trust in politicians is a blessing in disguise!

The heading is a bit provocative. It came to me as I read for the second time a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developmen (OECD).

Because I had read the OECD report before, I knew the Swiss had the highest level of trust in their government.

You can see the report here.

What I had not done is relate distrust of politicians to trust in government, let me explain how distrust in politicians brought about trust in politicians.

In 1874 the citizens of Zurich did not trust their elected representatives much. The level of trust was so low that the citizens decided; “enough of representative democracy!, we want direct democracy!”.

What triggered their anger was the mismanagement by the government of a cholera pandemic that killed many citizens.

One of the factors that triggered the people turning against politicians and the elite was that many in the elite fled Zurich to their country states. I wonder to what extent this is happening all over the World in the current pandemic…

But the Swiss still elect representatives, they still have a parliament and an executive, but since 1874 they have them under control. Basically, Swiss politicians, and even the Swiss Supreme court, are subordinate to the will of the people and this is what, over the years has generated the trust.

The Swiss trust their politicians now because the people have the last word on any policy or law the politicians want to put in place, there is no fear the politicians will not do what the people want.

The result has been good for the Swiss; the politicians enjoy the feeling that the people trust them, and the people enjoy the feeling of trusting the politicians. That is how it should be in all democracies.

Direct democracy produces also amazing results that cut through all the heated conservative, progressive, socialist, and capitalist rhetoric we see in representative democracies.

For example, Switzerland has the best health care system in the World. It is universal, it really covers everybody.

You could say it is “socialist”, but it is “capitalist” because it is privately funded; the people pay their health insurance premiums, like people in other countries pay their car or home insurance.

To make sure everybody has the money to pay the premiums, the Swiss government gives people with lower incomes the money to pay the premiums.

One of the great things about the Swiss health system is that if you want, you can book appointments directly with medical specialists.

The Swiss voters do not care too much about ideology when they vote to address problems; they focus on the results, not on ideology.

Unfortunately, the OECD is not yet sold on direct democracy; its recommendation:

“Governments with low levels of trust must do more to win back their citizens’ trust; they need to start putting more money into public services, and become better at meeting the needs of the entire population, including in healthcare, employment, and education. They also need to make sure that all their citizens can access government services”.

This is as bland as you can get, it will have zero effect on most politicians.

But keep in mind most elected politicians in your country will react like their Swiss counterparts did in the 1800s; they will not want to hear about direct democracy.

The hard truth is that if the people of those countries want to increase the level of trust in their governments they will have to do what the Swiss did; say loud and clear, and insistently: “enough, from now on we will have the final say on all your decisions and laws you propose, also, the Supreme Court will not have the power to turn down the results of popular referendums. We will also be the ones calling the referendums, not you, and the results will be binding for you”.

For comparison’s sake, look at the levels of trust in other important democracies; 64% of Canadians trust their government, 56% of the Dutch, 56% of New Zealanders, 53% of Germans, 49% of the Swedish, 45% of the Danish, 43% of the Australians, 33% in the US and 28% of the French.

In Switzerland, 82% of the people trust their government, impressive, eh?

I suspect the Swiss also trust their business, media, unions, academia, etc., more than other countries because, as they reduced the power of politicians, they also reduce the power of all those who in representative democracies have too much influence on the powerful politicians and push politicians away from what most ordinary citizens want.

Let us face it; if in a democracy half of the citizens, or more, do not trust their elected representatives, what sort of government of the people, by the people, for the people is that?

Let’s go!

Direct democracy prevents the slide into dictatorship, representative democracy can slide into dictatorship

Representative democracy is vulnerable to become a dictatorship. We know it because it has happened more than once.

The major reason a representative democracy can collapse into a dictatorship is obvious; the politicians have too much power. Because of that, in a crisis the elected representatives in the parliament of representative democracy can be tempted, or intimidated, into giving power to a “strongman”; they have done it.

The root weakness is that representative democracy is not government by the people; it is government by those elected by the people. The people only have the power to elect politicians. Once elected, politicians have all the power to do, legally (because they make the laws), anything they want, including giving all power to a “strongman”, with terrible results.

But you probably heard that representative democracy has “checks and balances” to prevent such things. Unfortunately, the “checks and balances” are checks and balances of politicians by politicians; they do not include checks and balances of the politicians by the people.

Anyway, the checks and balances of politicians by politicians do not work very well. For example, it often happens in a representative democracy that the same party controls the executive and the legislative. In such situation, where are the “checks and balances?”

In presidential systems, like the US, there is more separation of power between the executive and the legislative.

Unfortunately, the political fights for power in the US, and in other representative democracies, are so vicious that the “checks and balances” are just the continuation of the relentless fight to win elections, they are not real checks and balances.

In representative democracies, the primary aim of the parties is not the common good, the good of the country, but to win the next election; the system pushes them in that direction. Winning is their obsession.

The politicians will never admit to that; they always wrap their true aim of winning in carefully develop words about; “justice”, “jobs”, “freedom”, “taking care of the vulnerable”, “progress”, “the future of our children” and so on, but the goal is always the same; discredit rival politicians to win elections.

We still have the judiciary as the “third leg” of the “checks and balances”. Unfortunately, the politicians select and appoint the judges to the highest court of the land. It is obvious then that the highest courts are politicized; not a good way to have objective checks and balances.

It is evident the checks and balances among the three powers by the three powers are weak or non-existent, but there is a much bigger problem; in a representative democracy, the voters have no mechanism to check the power of the three powers, THIS IS the real problem.

Representative democracies create the absurd situation that the government, supposedly “of the people, by the people, for the people”, the people have no executive and legislative power; no way to control what those elected do.

All the power in the hands of the elected representatives means that in a crisis, the legislatures can give the executive unlimited powers.

That is exactly what happened in Germany. Before Hitler, Germany was a representative democracy until the legislature gave him total power.

If you want to understand how Germany’s representative democracy ended up in Hitler’s dictatorship, click here

If the German people had direct democracy, no demagogue would have intimidated the people into giving him absolute power.

In a direct democracy, the people are used to voting to decide issues, not just vote to elect politicians. Because of that, voters in a direct democracy know they are responsible for the fate of their country; they do not fall for the grandiose delusional promises of would-be dictators or party demagogues.

It is time for direct democracy, to  make real: “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, once and for all, and prevent the loss of democracy in a crisis.

Because the people make the final decisions, a direct democracy is more democratic and more stable than representative democracy.

What are you going to do to bring it to your country?

To learn about direct democracy, I suggest you study Switzerland’s direct democracy. It is easy; just enter in your computer or phone: “Direct democracy in Switzerland”.

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