In a direct democracy politicians never stay too long; there is no need for term limits

People in representative democracies complain that politicians stay too long; some of them stay in power and/or parliament for decades.

In some places they have introduced term limits, in others they have recalls, which means the people can remove from office a politician before his or her term is up.

Neither measure addresses the root problem. The root problem is that in representative democracies, politicians have too much power. The executive has too much power and so does the legislature. They have too much power to pass laws, regulations, policies, impose taxation levels, decide what educational and health system the country will have, etc.

That is the real problem. Term limits is basically a cosmetic measure because while the politician is “serving the people” he or she has too much power.

Recalling is the same; it does not do much good to remove a politician the people consider grossly incompetent once he has done the damage.

Direct democracy is the proper way to run a society because it gives the people the power to stop anything the politicians want to do. It does not matter if what the politicians want to do is a result of them staying in power too long or if it is the result of gross incompetence, etc.

Besides, term limits and recall affect only a few politicians. The problem is that politicians, as a group, have too much power. The issue is not if one of them stays too long, is incompetent or corrupt.

In a direct democracy, the people do not complain if a politician stays too long or if he or she should be recalled. In a direct democracy, the people have the power to control all politicians, as well as the political parties. It does not matter if they are in the executive or not, it does not matter if they have the majority in parliament or not.

In a direct democracy, the people can make radical decisions over the heads of the politicians.

In a direct democracy, anyone, any group can draft a proposal; if approximately 1% of registered voters back the proposal and put their signature behind it, there must be a referendum on the proposal.

This means that the voters decide if the proposal will become law or not. The role of the elected politicians is to elaborate the law, they can not challenge it, much less reject it.

The other power the people have in a direct democracy is to gather also a limited number of signatures to force a referendum on any law, policy or treaty the elected politicians want to enact.

Sometimes, the constitution itself specifies  which laws must go to a referendum.

As you might suspect, the results of the referendums are binding for government; neither the executive, not the legislative, not even the Supreme Court can reject or overturn the results of the referendum.

Another characteristic of direct democracy is the the people are the only ones who can change the constitution.

In view of that, you can see how the people in a direct democracy are not concerned about term limits or recalls.

In a direct democracy, the people have so much power that the politicians do what the people want; there is no need to limit terms or to recall anyone.

Just imagine the laws, policies and other decisions the people of your country would have stopped dead if they had the power direct democracy gives the people. I am sure you can think of  laws, treaties, policies and decisions your government has  enacted that, if they had gone to a referendum, the people would have rejected.

Representative democracy is obsolete. But what is even worse is that politicians have so much power in a representative democracy that can not help but create an spiral of continuously accumulating more power.

One of the powers they have is the power to print as much money as they want. As a result, what they do to “manage” economic crisis is what politicians all over the World are doing now; print so much money that money starts to rapidly lose its value. Soon the confidence of the people in the politicians is lost, because people see their salaries buy less and less. The final outcome is always economic and social disaster; bloody uprisings are also possible.

Direct democracy also makes election less important. This is because in a direct democracy the politicians do not really have the power to do much against the will of the people.

Such is the power of direct democracy that it eliminates the concept of the “opposition party”. You might think that harms democracy, but it is not so. When politicians see that they have to govern according to the wishes of the people, they work together, they realise it makes no sense to have all those verbal fireworks, we see in representative democracies between the party in power and the parties in the opposition.

How do I know that direct democracy works like that, and much better than representative democracy?, because I have studied Switzerland, the only direct democracy we have on Earth at the national, regional and local level. You can study Switzerland too, I am sure you will reach the same conclusion; Switzerland’s direct democracy has produced the most stable, more democratic country on earth. Direct democracy will help your country become a much better, more democratic, country.

Victor Lopez

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