All important decisions in the country must be made with the explicit approval of the voters, that is direct democracy

Democracy means “government by the people” Government by the people means that, that the people govern, that the people make or explicitly approve any decision the people consider important.

The people can not govern through elected representatives if the elected representatives make all decisions. In representative democracies, the politicians; the executive, the legislature and the judges, appointed by the politicians make all all the laws, interpret all the laws, the executive also makes all decisions without the consent of the people.

The legislature can stop the executive from making certain decisions, so can the judges, but the people can not stop the executive, the legislature or the judges.

If the people can not make any executive or legislative decision, and if they can not stop executive decisions or laws, how can we say that representative democracy is “government by the people” ? It is not, no matter how many pirouettes the politicians, the lobbies and the academics that support representative democracy, make.

In a representative democracy voters only have one power; the power to decide who will govern, that’s all. It is a big improvement over absolute monarchies, oligarchies, theocracies, one person or one party dictatorships, but it is not democracy.

It is time for voters to also have the right, the power, to decide issues, laws and anything else voters consider that they want to decide.

This means that decisions such as level of taxation, signing international treaties, declaring war, the public health system, the educational system, all laws and all changes to the constitution must be under the control of the people in one of two ways; because they can stop and reverse any decision by the executive and the legislature, any law, any treaty, etc., and they can also initiate and approve changes in all those areas.

It also means the judges will not be able to decide that the results of any decision are contrary to the constitution because the people are the fathers and mothers of the constitution, not the judges, not the founding fathers or anyone else.

Both, the decisions by the people to stop the executive or the legislative, and the changes initiated by the people, must also be binding for the executive and the legislature. F

Furthermore, not even a unanimous decision by the legislature, nor the supreme court must have the authority to reverse or override a decision by the people.

Many polls show that more and more voters, and citizens in general, are “losing faith in democracy”. That is not true, they are losing faith in representative democracy because representative democracy is not government by the people.

If representative democracy were in reality, “government by the people”, how could the people lose confidence in democracy or even in the politicians?, it would be absurd. It makes no sense for the people to lose confidence and trust in representative democracy if representative democracy is “government by the people”.

Why then most people equate representative democracy with democracy?, because the politicians, the lobbies and the academic elitists want the people to believe that. That way, if the system dos no work, if politicians govern ignoring the people, if politicians ignore promises made during political campaigns, or do things they never said they would do, or do the the opposite of what they promised, the people will not blame the system of representative democracy. They hope you will blame the politicians,the parties, the lobbies who pressure the politicians with “donations” to campaigns etc.

But the problem is the system of direct democracy that allows politicians to govern the way they want. The politicians know the people can not stop them.

All the people can do is vote the current politicians or party out of power. Whatever law or decision those kicked out made, it can not be changed. unless a new party wins the election.

Unfortunately, the new party… does exactly the same thing but in a different political direction. Besides, at election time, regardless of what the current people in power have done, the extreme polarisation created by representative democracy pushes most voters to vote for “their party” again.

Representative democracy is an obsolete system that gradually deteriorates the faith of the people in democracy because it is not a democracy. In a direct democracy, a real democracy, that disenchantment with the politicians and the parties does not happen, can not happen, because the people are in control.

How do we know that?, because the Swiss have direct democracy. Swiss politicians enjoy a higher level of trust than in any representative democracies, including the Scandinavian democracies.

If you want to change the situation is your country, if you want the politicians to govern as the people want, if you are fed up of complaining, or you stopped voting for those reasons, you better wake up and realise you have been had, that representative democracy is not real democracy.

It is a great improvement over authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, but is not democracy. You have to start demanding, and forcefully, direct democracy. But make sure you demand Swiss style democracy, not California style democracy, they are very different.

Victor Lopez

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