All countries need direct democracy; it is the next logical step for democracy. But democracy is in danger because representative democracy gives too much power to the elected politicians, so much that in time the will of the people does not count for much, as the politicians can not resist using their excessive power to accumulate more, it is a never-ending spiral; until representative democracy enters crisis mode and collapse.
Canada, the country I live in, is ready for the next step, for direct democracy. But it is close to the US, and the US is politically unstable now. There is excessive polarisation among Americans. Democracy will not survive such polarisation. If an economic crisis comes up; Americans will go at each other’s throats or, more likely Americans, on the Left and the Right, will reject and even go after their elected elites for creating the mess.
As US democracy becomes more stable, Canadian democracy will follow. To save democracy in Canade and the World we all need a stable, less polarized US democracy. This will not happen without direct democracy.
The situation is made worse because democracies face now, like they did in WW II and during the Cold War too, a dangerous rival, the militarily and economically powerful Chinese regime.
As long as China, like the USSR, practiced communism, it posed no economic threat because Communism is very inefficient.
But China is no longer Communists, forget what they say. China now is now is more like Nazi Germany; it has a system of state-controlled capitalism, disciplined, hardworking, entrepreneurial and… also convinced of their superiority.
For all that, China will be dangerous for a while. I know the Chinese people, eventually, will get rid of their current regime. The reason is obvious; lack of freedom will, at some point prevent innovation in science, technology and also in culture. It will happen as soon as someone develops ideas, science or technology that threaten the regime. But that collapse can happen soon, or it may take decades.
Democracies still have a window of opportunity. The window will last only as long as the US is a democracy and as long as the US is clearly the most powerful nation.
Unfortunately, the way the US is going, it will become weaker economically, militarily, and politically.
What the US needs is to strengthen its representative democracy with direct democracy.
Economically the US is becoming weaker because US capitalists have practically abandoned making things to make money, particularly high-tech products. They prefer to maximize profits by manufacturing outside the US, or by practicing “financial engineering”, like buying their own shares to keep their value high, which is good for the executives.
One effect of such policies is that, even for its weapons systems, the US military depends on other countries, even on China, for some important components; it an absurd situation created by those who feel their mandate is to maximize profits.
Another result is a huge trade deficit in manufactured high-tech goods and services, not just in frying pans, microwave oven or vacuum cleaners.
The trade deficit means the US is sending money to China; logically, it is making China more powerful by the day. If the trend continues, China will pressure the US, and other countries too, in all areas.
Besides, others, observing China’s “success”, and the failure of the US, will be more tempted to emulate the Chinese dictatorship because “it works”.
But there is another problem; US representative democracy is in very bad shape. This is a problem the Americans have created all by themselves because of the dynamics of representative democracy. If US democracy collapses, Canada and the rest of the West will become puppets of the Chinese regime until that regime collapses.
Democracy, in theory has many advantages over dictatorship but only if democracy works properly. By “working properly” I mean, government has the support of the people. American are so disenchanted with democracy that only 30 have confidence in their politicians. In Canada, the support is better, 60%, but also much lower than in Switzerland, where the support hovers around 80%, why?, because they have direct-representative democracy.
Let us help Americans fix American democracy, for the sake of all of us, icluding the Chinese people…