Direct democracy cuts political parties and politicians down to size; it is overdue

Representative democracy is another “star system” which leads politicians to think they are “leaders”, special people.

When the few decide for millions the system does not work because the few do not have the collective awareness and the collective knowledge of the many.

The star system is bad, it is bad because it leads voters to believe politicians are people with special qualities, superior to the voters. It is also bad because it leads politicians to believe they have special qualities; and that is the whole fake foundation of representative democracy, a poor foundation that is slowly crumbling now.

Dictatorships of any sort are far worse, but that is another issue.

Representative democracy is a bad idea. The fellow who came up with it is Robespierre, yes, that “nice” fellow who played a big role in the French Revolution, killing dozens every day for almost one year, some democrat!

The French Revolution was about eliminating the absolute power the French king, the French “nobility” and the bishops of the Catholic Church had over the people. This was a great idea but, like with many “great” ideas”, “the devil is in the detail”.

At first, the leaders of the French Revolution liked and supported democracy; that the people directly would make the political decisions, just like the Ancient Greeks did.

Unfortunately, it proved too hard for some leaders of the French Revolution to accept that the people would decide.

Soon, some of those leaders decided the people needed what turned out to be like new “kings”, new “nobility” and new “bishops”. The titles and the institutions changed; instead of a monarch we have a president or prime minister, instead of the nobility and the bishops we have party leaders, high-level bureaucrats, executives of large corporations, union leaders and so on. In this system, ordinary people vote but, like in the old regime, decide nothing.

The French Revolution brought rights and freedoms to ordinary citizens they did not have before; it was a huge achievement, but… having more rights and freedoms does not mean the key decision-making powers do not still lie in the hands of elites.

Because the politicians decide everything, and because political marketing campaigns present politicians as superior beings; “leaders”, people with vision, courage, character, honesty, etc., many voters believe they need such people to decide for them. They have been “educated” to believe they do not have what it takes to decide issues themselves, to lead themselves.

This is also why you see the cult of personality in representative democracies; the caravans of limousines with flashing lights, the special planes, the palaces or palace-like residences, the titles; “honourable”, “premier”, etc.; “special people” need “special choreography”; the whole thing is absurd.

Representative democracy rests on the premise that citizens need people with superior qualities to “represent” them. In reality, the elected representatives do not represent the voters. If elected representatives really wanted to represent the voters, they would consult with the voters before they decide or before casting any vote in parliament, but they do not do that.

There are many ways the politicians could vote and decide how the voters want, but they “know what is good for the people” better than the people themselves, why should they consult the people?

It is an idiotic concept; voters are intelligent, responsible adults, they do not need any politician to decide on their behalf.

We can keep the politicians, we can let them decide but with one critical change; the voters are always the final authority and can stop or change any decision taken or law proposed by the politicians

The system we need, where the citizens vote to elect and also vote to decide when they decide is necessary, is direct democracy. Direct democracy works, it is perhaps the key reason that makes Switzerland the best governed country in the entire World.

The Swiss have quashed the idea of “leaders”; this is why the highest government position in the country rotates among seven equal people; they do not need or like the idea of “one leader”. The seven also decide by consensus, and their decisions can be stopped by the people.

The Swiss did what the French could have done; the Swiss said: “OK, we will keep representative democracy, but with a twist to ensure the politicians will really represent us; we will let the politicians propose laws, treaties, etc., but we give to ourselves, the people, the power to stop anything the politicians want to do, we also give ourselves the right to introduce new laws and to change the constitution, and no politician, parliament or supreme court will have the power to stop us”.

Let the rest us grow as voters too, we do not need “leaders with vision”, we need politicians who do what we want done because they have no choice.

 

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