Direct democracy is clearly more democratic and provides better governance; how come it is not the norm then?

Direct democracy is more democratic because the people have the final say on everything of importance, not the elected politicians.

The Swiss, the only people practising direct democracy in all levels of government, make more democratic decisions every year, and have been doing it for more that 150 years, than all other nations on Earth together!

Direct democracy is the only democracy; “representative democracy” is not real democracy, it is an elegant, but false, political marketing term cooked up during the French Revolution by some of its leaders, unable or unwilling, to make direct democracy work. Representative democracy is more like an elected aristocracy.

The original intention of the French people was to have a direct democracy. It is about time the French adopt direct democracy; so should the people of all other representative democracies.

I do not speak of authoritarian regimes because they are still light-years away from even representative democracy.

The major reason direct democracy is not the norm is that the people have been persuaded to believe the only democracy is representative democracy, even if it is not real democracy.

You might have noticed the elites; political, academic, mediatic and economic, of your country talk little about direct democracy. For them, representative democracy and democracy are the same thing; many of them know better, but they keep quiet.

Politicians, and some political ideologues, in representative democracies have done an excellent job at persuading people that what is not democracy is democracy.

But reality has caught up with this false democracy because it is not working very well; even in the better known representative democracies, most people do not trust their elected representatives. Many citizens feel the politicians do not govern for ordinary people, perhaps they never did, that they govern for big business, the media, organized lobbies and political pressure groups.

One reaction to the discontent is right wing and left wing populisms, but neither believes in direct democracy either. We know that because they present to voters “great leaders” to “free us from this Valley of Tears and deliver us to the Promised Land”; there is no “Valley of Tears” and there is no “Promised Land”; there is only reason, common sense, and plenty of voters with plenty of both, to decide by themselves how to build and manage a prosperous and stable society.

We can keep the elected representatives, but as proponents of laws and policies, not as decision-makers, more or less like the Swiss have been doing for a long time.

Direct democracy is not about any “great leader” it is about “rule by the people”, This means the people decide issues by voting on the issues, not just electing politicians.

Politicians in representative democracies like representative democracy because it gives political parties, politicians, those close to them, and those appointed by the politicians, all the power. Together, they have all the executive power, all the legislative power and all the judiciary power.

Why should politicians in representative democracies speak well of direct democracy if it deprives them of most of their power to pass laws and put in place policies as they see fit? No elite ever gives up power easily.

Some of those elected representatives, and others in the social and economic elites, have the cheek to say ordinary people are not capable of making the right decisions.

Other politicians do not want the people to decide because it would not be good for the politicians and the elites close to them.

Do not expect elected politicians in a representative democracy to push for direct democracy; most will never do it.

Others will speak against direct democracy using false arguments such as “direct democracy can become the dictatorship of the majority”. If you hear that, just point out Switzerland; a direct democracy where its historical minorities get more respect than minorities anywhere else.

We know direct democracy is better because of the Swiss, the only established direct democracy in the World, prove it every day; the Swiss trust their governments more than their German, Austrian, French and Italian neighbours.

Switzerland is also the ancestral home of four peoples; German-speakers, French-Speakers, Italian-speakers and Romansh-speakers.

Yet, those four communities have been able to create a multicultural country surpassing, by any economic, political and social measure its four “unitary” neighbours. Switzerland it is more stable politically, socially and economically, fiscally more sound, more democratic, more prosperous, more developed, has a better health and educational system, etc., than France, Austria, Italy or Germany.

If you want direct democracy in your town, province, state or country you will have to push for it because most of your elected representatives and those close to them will not. Even if some representative support direct democracy, their party, or those who finance their campaigns, soon will discourage them.

When the Swiss people decided they wanted direct democracy, their elected politicians did not like it one bit either; the Swiss had to push, peacefully, but hard.

Now that you know why direct democracy is not the norm, it is up to you to do something about it; but do not blame the politicians for your country not being a direct democracy. Instead of blaming, act, push peacefully, but push, so that the people of your town, state, province and country become the key decision-makers, not just vote.

Victor Lopez

Next post in two days, as always.

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