Direct democracy is necessary to save us from representative democracy

Just in case you are not familiar with the essence of representative democracy, this is what it is. The politicins decide every issue and law, voters only elect them.

First of all, it is the system of national government of the countries we normally refer to as “democracies”. There are only two countries we consider democracies that do not use representative democracy at the national level as the main form of government; Switzerland and Taiwan. In both countries direct democracy is an important tool, but in Switzerland, history shows, it has transferred so much power from the elected representatives to the people that Switzerland is, on all major issues, a direct democracy approaching Ancient Greek democracy.

Taiwan is a very interesting country because it has been able to show you can go from authoritarian government to representative democracy, to direct democracy in only a few decades. Perhaps their fellow Chinese from the continent will decide they are capable of direct democracy too. But Taiwan’s experienc is short; for now, the credibility of direct democracy in the modern era, has to be based on the great success of the Swiss experience of more that one and a half centuries. Although even Switzerland is not as democractic as ancient Greece. It is amazing, but until the Renaissance, democracy was dead in the World; once Ancient Greek direct democracy became extinct, the West took a huge leap backwrds in human development, never mind the dominance of Judeo-Christianity.

Before anyone jumps: “wait a minute, in Greece women and slaves were not allowed to vote”. That is correct, but we are looking at democracy more than 2500 years ago. Anybody with a little bit of common sense will realise that if Greek democracy had continued it would not take till the late 1800s to give women the vote and to abolish slavery.

This does not make Ancient Greece direct democracy right, but it does not invalid the main point of democracy; that ordinary citizens directly make the decisions and do away with professional politician-rulers, in this, not even Switzerland has caught up to the Greeks.

I am sure you have noticed that for practically all the existence of Judaism, Chistianity, Islam and many other beliefs, slavery was accepted, same goes for women not voting, or counting for much in public life, except for a certain “profession”. So, even centuries after the Greeks, slavery and women suppression carried on, in spite of the claims to moral superiority all those groups make, claims and dogmas the Greeks never fell for.

Why direct democracy is the way to save us from representative democracy and the progressively growing mess it creates in all countries where it is the system of national government? Because of one crucial cause; representative democracy gives all power to formulate and execute policies and laws to the elected politicians and cero executive and legislative power to the voters.

The politicians, logically enough, use that power to do what they believe is good for the country, but to do what is good for the country they need to win the election. To get the voters to vote for them, politicians make promises, and carry out actions, which are often bad for the country. Th system forced, even people with good intentions, to to bad things.

Politicians also compete among themselves. They compete individually and also as parties. Parties are organisations that get politicians together to better compete for power. When a politician belongs to a party he or she benefits from the resources of the party; money, knowledge, experience, etc. Already at this stage, the politician often has to submit to the will of the party and forget, in whole or in part, the people who vote for him or her.

I do not know if politicians form parties because of shared ideology with other politicians, of if the parties create ideologies to persuade voters of the importance of ideology, of beliefs, to persuade voters to vote for their beliefs. What it is clear is that, even if they do not create ideology to get the backing of voters who sympathise with the particular political ideology, parties an politicians exaggerate the importance of ideology. It is as if parties discovered that it is important to turn political ideas into modern religions or sects.

The result is that parties use ideology to persuade voters that other parties have leaders and candidates who are incompetent, corrupt or unpatriotic, or the three at the same time. Naturally, such reasoning polarises politicians, and also polarises voters. The voters of each party have come often to consider voters of other parties as incompetent, stupid, lunatics.

The polarisation has also contaminated the media. It has reached a point where polarized voters are no longer interested in objective information or balanced points of view; voters tune in to the media that reinforces their own opinions. This sets the country in a spiral of polarisation.

This is very obvious, and well known, in the United States, but it happens in all countries with representative democracies, even countries that until recently resisted polarisation, for example Sweden, a country now deeply divided.

In representative democracies, politicians make promises because they have the power to fulfill many of them if they win the election and their party wins control of the executive and the legislature. If they do not win, they can always say that it is unfortunate voters were deceived by the winning party with promises that can not be fulfilled or a bad for the country.

If there is no clear winner, the party who wins the executive can always say “we can not do this and this because the legislature is partisan, they stop us because of narrow party interests, even if it is bad for the country”. The legislature, in the hands of the other party, says the opposite; “we have to stop the executive because it will take us down the wrong path”.

Parties and politicians make promises to get elected; when they are in power, things often become worse; they use power to, basically, buy votes with public money, the money of the voters. They will never say that, they are astute enough to buy the votes with money disguised as “fairness”,”rights”, “employment”, “the environment”, “national defence”, “street safety”, “good jobs”, “entrepreneurship”, “better pensions”, “better education”, “strong borders”, “better health care” and on and on. All parties play the game; the differences are only on the emphasis and on some, not most, policies.

Because in representative democracies voters only have power to elect, not decide policies or laws, what voters do is “I think I will vote for this candidate/party because I like what they promise, or I like this initiative”.

The end result is politicians find ways to buy votes; they raise pensions, so pensioners will vote for them. They do many other things so that ordinary voters will vote for them. For example, they will give rebates to people who buy electric cars, or who install energy efficient home heating or home cooling equipment. Such initiatives are geared, not to the people who need to save most on gas or heating, but to the people most likely to vote; more or less the middle and upper middle class. Such people can afford to buy a new electric car or a new high efficiency heat pump or air conditioner, the poor can not.

But even leaving that aside, the people who benefit from such programs, are the ones who also pay for them. Voters can not resist being bribed because it provides them with an immediate benefit. Even if they know they are being bought with the taxes they pay, they can not say no because “if I do not take advantage of the program someone else will”. Voters cave in to such manipulation, often even if they voted for another party.

But there are more problems with representative democracy; to win elections, politicians, parties need to set up competitive campaigns. Such campaigns reuire lots of money. In some countries the money comes from lobbies and from banks. So, you have a situation in which politicians need the money of the rich individuals and corporations to win; without lots of money you can not set up a competive campaign. The politician or the party might have the best policies for the nation, for the short term and fro the long term, but there is no money, voters will not know about it much. But even if they know about it, massive negative campaigning bu those with money will drown the campaign.

This is not unlike the commercial world; a small company might have the best product or service but, if the potential buyers do not know about it, the company will not really be able to compete with the “big boys”.

So, with representative democracy, regardless if the Right or the Left, or the Center or a coalition govern, they never can keep in ming the good of the country, even for the short term, much less fro the long term.

One way politicians buy votes is by making sure there is enough money, created by easy credit and massive paper printing, so that there is economic activity, people can buy houses, cars, etc.

Unfortunately, that creates inflation, which means the average citizen becomes progressively poorer, even if he or she erans “more” money.

But becayse representative democracies removes all responsibility for the fate of the country from voters, voter do niot feel thay are to bale when politicians of all parties print more money to win elections. In the US you see it clearly; it does not matter if Republican or Democrats govern; Obama, Bush,Trump, Biden, all fo the same thing; work to get elected or reelected by put in place policies voters and lobbies like, even if, as often happens, the interest of the lobby and of ordinary citizens, for the short and long term are incompatible.

In some representative democracies, the state finances most of the political campaigns of parties. This eliminate or reduces the pressure of money lobbies on elected politicians, but does not diminish the pressure of the lobbies who help the parties with non-monetary contributions, or who can deliver lots of votes.

By removing direct responsibility for the fate of the country, for short term and long term policies, for laws, from the voters, voters can not do much about what the politicians do about the key economic and fiscal policies of the country, as all parties are forced to basically do the same thing, keep voters happy at any cost.

Eventually, the country starts to deteriorate, as fiscal and economic policies based on growing private and public debts and mlkney printing are not forever sustainable. That is why all currencies not backed assets independent of government control, such as gold and, it seem now, bitcoin, end up collapsing. When that happens, anything can happen, as history shows, but is never good.

To top it off, representative democracies put in the hands of judeges sekected by the politicians, the fate of major laws andmajor policies.

All this means that to have voters that are forced to vote responsibly, it is essential for voters to demand the the power to decide policies and laws, and to have veto plower over any law or policy politicians want to approve or have approved. Likewise, it is also essential to limit the power of supreme court justices to deciding civil and criminal cases, and to remove from the power to decide if a policiy or law is “constitutional”.

When voters really decide issues, not just elect polticians, voters force themselves to inform themselves of the details or issues. They also listen to assorted experts to explain complex issues. As a result, the country makes sounder decisions because voters are froced to consider the good and bad, short term and long term effects of the votes.

That what direct democracy is about; “responsible government by voters who have no choice but to vote responsibly”. That is why Switzerland is the best governed country in the World. Swiss voters have removed all key decision making power from elected politicians.

Because in a direct democracy the politicians have much less power than the politicians, it doe not make much sense to “donate” millions to political campaigns. Other lobbies, like large unions or professional groups, do not put so much emphasis either into suggesting to members to vote for this that party, because theknow the members will have to vote as individuals to decide issues, specific issues, not as a herd. On some issues, union members and others may vote “right”, on others “left”. In a direct democracy, voters have more power and are also freer and mone autonomous than in representative democracies, Switzerland has been and continues to be an amazing pioneer and success.

That is what the citizens of Canada, the US, France, the UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, India and all other reprsentative democracies have to do too, deman direct democracy. Direct democracy is the system grown up voters demand and that also makes voters grow up further.

I do not even write one line about non-democratic countries because such systems are illegitimate; they are all inhumane. It does not matter is one party, one person, one religion, one ideology rules, they are all oppressive.

If you want to rescue your country from the clutches of lobbies, of polarization, of the elected aristocrats, which is what politicians are in representative democracies, you have to push for direct democracy, now.

Victor Lopoez

Direct democracy means better government because the voters have more power, and the politician, the parties, the lobbies and the bureaucrats have lesss

Direct democracy essentially means that the balance of power shifts from the elites to the voters.

In a direct democracy, the political leaders, the political parties, the big corporate and professional lobbies and the top bureaucrats have less power than the voters. In a direct democracy, voters become the top and final decision makers. Even the highest court of the land can not overturn the results of a public referendum. All the court could do is order a repetition of the referendum if illegalities have been committed in the process of collecting signatures, the campaigns, vote counting, etc.

In other words, in a direct democracy the voters are the top decision makers. This is what democracy is supposed to be. As you probably know, democracy is the system of government invented by the Ancient Greeks some 2600 years ago.

To the Greeks, “dēmokratia” meant “popular government,” from dēmos “common people” and “kratos” “rule, strength”. This clearly means that the people, the common people are the ones ruling. If the Greeks had meant “rule by those elected by the people” they would not use the word democracy, they use an expression like “διακυβέρνηση από εκλεγμένους αντιπροσώπους” which more or less means “rule by the elected representatives”.

The term “representative democracy” would not make sense to the Greeks because it is an oxymoron; what sense does it make to say: “rule by the representatives of rule by the people”. If it is rule by elected representatives it is not rule by the people, if it is rule by the people it is not rule by the elected representatives.

The term “representative democracy” is a trick some leaders of the French Revolution, among them, the totalitarian Robespierre, who was happy to guillotine the French King and his absolute power, but quickly assumed absolute power, until he was executed too. Unfortunately, the term, and that form of elected aristocracy governmemt which is what representative democracy is, survived him.

Representative democracy is a huge improvement over absolute rule by kings, dictators or priests, because it brought political freedom, so that people could speak fairly freely and also decide who would be ruling the country.

The English accomplished that much too, far earlier than the French and with less blood shed, although they just muddled through, without the intellectual, head and shoulders above, elegance of Madame Guillotine. Nevertheless, the French Revolution was great leap forward, it made people aware that the people should have political freedom and also should be able to decide who governs, although the people still would not govern.

Direct democracy means rule by the people, nothing else. Representative democracy would be real democracy, or very close to it, if the people let the elected politicians develop policies and laws but the people reserve for themselves several key powers. When that happens is as if the people say: “we have direct democracy a la carte; on any issue we want to decide, we have the power to do so”.

These are the major power the people have in a direct democracy, which they do not have in a representative democracy:

The power to reject any policy or law developed by the politicians.

The power to tell the politicians what specific additional policies and laws they must develop and put into practice.

The power to change the constitution without the consent or support of the politicians, and beyond the reach of the highest court in the land.

The power to organize referendums at the local, state, provincial, regional and national levels, to decide any policy, law or change to the constitution, approximately 1% of registered voters sign a demand to hold a referendum. The demand can not be turned down by the executive or the legislature, even if both bodies unanimously disagree with the demand. The highest court in the land can not stop a referendum,or its results either. The results of referendums are binding for government. Government can propose alyernatives to the organizers of the referendum, who may accept ot reject them.

The people who collect the signatures are also given plenty of time to do so.

The number of signatures required and the time alloed to collect them, must make it easy to meet both requirements, otherwise the will of the people could not be readily known.

Another important aspect of direct democracy is that any person or group, any political party (even it has no elected representatves), can collect the required signatures. This means that in a direct democracy the concerns of any political, social, linguistic or ethnic minority, able to collect the signatures of 1% of registered voters, has the opportunity to have their concerns formally considered by their fellow citizens.

Some people say that direct democracy can turn into the “dictatorship of the majority”. Certainly, history does not show that. Ancient Greek democracy did not allow women and slaves to vote but that was not because of democracy, even before democracy, women and slaves were not allowed to participate in political life. To the Greeks, it was natural to keep women and slaves off democracy because they have always been kept off politics.

But we should not forget we are talking of 2600 centuries back. I have no doubt that if Greek democracy had survived, women would have gained the right to vote much sooner than they did when Judeo-Chistianity became dominant. Likewise with respect to slavery; I have no doubt it would have been abolished sooner because the inquisitive Greek mind would have figured out, sooner than any religion or civisation, that keeping women out of public life and keeping slaves was wrong. It is because their sense of justice that they arrived at the conclusion democracy was the more ethical form of government.

In the only direct democracy we know have, Switzerland, there is no dictatorship by the majority at all. The overwhelming German-speaking majority, 64% of the country has shown no desire at all to vote based on their ethnic-culture; they know that to impose their “cultural” will will trigger civil unrest, and that would not be good for them either as unrest damages daily life for everybody.

Direct democracy is superior to representative democracy because it prevents politicians from going off on their own. The mechamisms and rules of direct democracy ensure that the politicians must follow the will of the people on any importan issue. In a direct democracy, politicians soon learn that they must ensure any policy or law must gain acceptance among voters, otherwise it will be killed by them.

This forces rival politicians and parties to work together. In a direct democracy, even if party wins an absolute majority, it does not have freedom to pass a law if the majority of voters do not support it, because they voters could organise a referendum and vote it down. So parties, at leasy tha major parties, work cooperatively because they know they need the support of the majority of voters, for the policy oir law to survive

Another advantage of direct democracy is that in it the voters are responsible for what happens to the country. They know that if they do not hold a referendum to stop a law or government policy, it is because they did not act when they could.

The responsibility direct democracy places on voters, others also forces them to be informed, to listen to the arguments of political parties, of other interested groups and also independent experts.

The wider debate ensures more ideas are considered, and this generates a better solution. In representative democracies there is no formal public debate leading to a decision by the public; the politicians debate, they listen to their own experts (who always have a political or professional ax to grind). In representative democracies politicians seek experts to back uop what they want to do. In a direct democracy the people want to listen to all important experts. In a direct democracy more independent experts participate in public forums, giving the people more unbiased information than the information the experts hired by government and parties give politicians.

Direct democracy also forces people to center on the practical aspects of the issues, not the ideological aspects. Ideology-centered decisions, polarize voters and also force voters to vote with the ideologicak herd they belong to. This tyope of voting is more emotionalk and less rational.

How do I know all this about direct democracy?, because I study Swiss direct democracy. Swiss direct democracy includes all levels of government. It gives people the final say on natiomal issues too. This is why it is superior to California-style democracy. Besides, it is a lot easier to collect the required signatures in Switzerland than in California.

There is another problem for Californians, for a number of reasons, for Californian voters, it is not obvious that if they vote for more public services, taxes or debt will have to be raised, that they are responsible. In part it is because the level of government with most impact on Californians, on taxes and most other key issues, is the Federal Government, which is completely outside any derect democracy control by voters, by the taxpayers.

Some people say that direct democracy is not practical in a large country, not so. The major issues are common to most countries, large and small. Keep in mind also that Swiss style, like California style, direct democracy are direct democracies by exception; if voters feel politicians are following the will of the people and do not annoy the people, the people will not call for referendums.

Modern technology, which safely allows us to purchase good on line with credit or debit car, pay with email, etc., can also be made capable to accept votes with a voting card.

Surveys show that most Americans, Canadians, Europeans, etc., favor direct democracy. If those countries do not have it is because the politicians do not want their power reduced, for obvious reasons, but also because us, the voters, do not actively demand it.

The Swiss were in the same situation until 154 years ago. As a result of another pandemic they said; “enough of is not representative democracy, from now on we will have direct control of the politicians on any issue we decide to control, voting to elect them and then let them loose is not enough!” The results are in: Switzwerland is by far, the most democratic better governed country in the World,

Victor Lopez

The superiority of direct democracy over representative democracy for minorities

There are meany reasons that convinced me that direct democracy is a superior system. Today I will discuss direct democracy and minorities.

Direct democracy essentially fulfils the definition of democracy; “government by the people”. Direct democracy does that because it puts in place the mechanisms enabling the voters to prevail over the executive and the legislative.

In a direct democracy votes have veto over policies and legislation whenever voters believe that it is necessary to stop them. But direct democracy goes a step further; it removes from the highest court in the land the power to overturn the results of public referendums. In a direct democracy, no judges interpret the constitution, only by voting do the people decide what is part of the constitution.ç

The first impression of someone who does not really know how democracy works, could be: “but if the people have the final decision-making power. could not that become the tyranny of the majority?”, “aren’t mos people ignorant of the technical aspects of issues for them to vote in a competent way?, will not the elected politicians and the experts they consult, reach more competent decisions than ordinary voters?”

The answer to those doubts are no.

We haver the evidence of Switzerland, the best managed, less polarized, most stable, most prosperous, with the lowest employment, better universal health care, highest trust in politicians, etc.

But, does the fact that Switzerland has been practising direct democracy for the past 154 years have anything to do with where Switzerland stands now in the World? I believe so. Switzerland is not 100% direct democracy; the politicians develop policies and laws, but the people, when they choose to, have veto power on anything the politicians do. The people can also decide that politicians must implement policies and laws even when the politicians had no intention of doing so, or may even oppose them. So, while, formally, Switzerland is a direct-representative democracy, because the voters ahve more power than the politicians, Switzerland eseentially is a direct democracy because “the people govern”, the voters prevail by referendum, on any issue they want to prevail.

In my view, the major reason why a direct democracy has not become “the tyranny of the majority” is because direct democracy makes the majority feel secure. As we know, when people feel secure, are often more flexible and tolerant.

But there is another factor; when the people have the control of, for example, how the education system will work, they know that if lower income areas have, on top of being poorer, an inferior education system, not only poverty will be harder to escape, it is also more likely that crime will rise. We all know that the major victims of crime, assaults, theft, etc., are ordinary people because the “upperclasses”, including the political class, often live lives which protect them and, therefore make them less sensitive to the problems crime causes in then lives of ordinary people, no matter how many sound bites they generate about the relationship between poverty and crime. So, direct democracy does not become a tyranny at all, it becomes the opposite, better democracy for all.

Another area of friction in many societir is languaage-culture. Again, Switzerland is the example. They mamage to accomodate their minorities like nowhere else; with 64% German speakers, the French and Italian minorities, even the tiny Romansh minority, of less than 50 000 people, none of those minorities feels oppressed.

No doubt it is, among other reasons, because German-speaking majority understands tha peaceful coexistence with minorities requieres respect. The German-speakers show that respect by recognizing that in areas where the clearly dominant language in not German, the members of the minorities do not have to learn or speak German and the official and often, only language in the area is French or Italian, not German.

But is does not end here; the German-speaking majority, as well as the French minority, which is the largest minority, and represents 23% of the Swiss population, seem to have recognized it would not be a good idea to identify language and culture with territory. The result is that the German-speaking population is organized in 17 German-speaking only cantons, the French in 4 French-speaking only cantons. The Italian speakers have one canton, and the Romansh-speakers share one bilingual canton with German-speakers. The rest of the cantons are also bilingual, mostly German-French, perhaps because the populations are geographically intermingled in those cantons and gets along smoothly.

However, far from being “tyrannical”, majorities in Switzerland are flexible, even when it comes to letting the minority in one canton break away to form their own canton or join and adjacent canton of a different language.

This is what the German-speaking majprity of Canton of Bern; they agreed, by popular referendum, that the French-speaking minority of the canton could create their own canton. This happened in 1979. More recently, some French speaking towns of the Canton of Bern, who in the earlier referendum decided tt stay in this German-speaking canton, held a referendum to leave the Canton of Bern and join the Canton of Jura, the majority and the minority voted, the resul was that the argument of minority won the majority of German-speakers over; the official reconfiguration of the cantons of Jura and Bern will take place in 2026.

Just try to do something similar in the US. For example, giving areas that are mostly Spanish-speaking, or native American-speaking, or culturally black areas, their own states. Or try to create out of Quebec a new English-speakinh province of Montreal West-Eastern Townships for 500 000 to 900 000 people, or a French-speaking province out of the French-speaking areas of New Brunswick. Or how about native-american speaking cantons or cantons of Eskimos. In Switzerland they hace several very small cantons with population of less than 70 000 people, one as low as 15 000, this means that minorities in a direct democracy can be accommodated quite well and prevent the problems that minorities that feel oppresses suffer, and that become problems for the majority too.

But it is not just the US or Canada. If you go to France, Spain, Belgium and other countries, you can see the mess their cultural-language relations are in. Even the UK, in spite of its long history of stability, divded its territory along language-culture borders. If the UK did what Switzerland did, it would have several English-speaking cantons out of England, and some too out of Scotland, may be even Wales.

So, to have fewer “oppressed minority” problems in your country, direct democracy could go a long way to accommodate them, precisely because direct democracy gives the majority the sense of being the majority that they, logically, need because, humans are territorial, but when they feel secure, they can also be flexible.

The key factor is that in Switzerland, the majority decides, not the politicians. Ordinary people, when they directly decide, are far more sensible than the politicians who, often can not resist using language, race, etc., as a way to get votes. This inevitably, polarises the minorities. When voters are responsible for what happens on the ground they vote mnuch more sensibly than the politicians. The people focus on the facts of the issue, politicians always focus on the next election and because of that generate polarisation and generate solutions contaminated by ideology.

But it is necessary to study in detail how the Swiss manage direct democracy because, like in most everything, “the devil is in the details”.

Victor Lopez

What is wrong with American polititics? Are other democracies in much better shape?

I follow the US media of all tendencies and follow the politics. Whike I live in Canada, I am extremely interested in US politics because the fate of the free World is, again, in the hands of America.

In a way, the situation is not too different from the rise of the Nazis in Germany and, to a lesser extent, the rise of Imperial Japan. We now have to face China, clearly a dictatorship that is also resorting to a version of state-controlled Capitalism to redress some “wrongs”, China suffered at the hand so of the West. To me, the Chinese government’s position is absurd. China was rescued from the clutches of Imperial Japan by the US and its allies.

China was also rescued from the misery and madness of Mao’s years by the capitalist ideas of the West. Nevertheless, the Chinese government insists on the “humiliations” at the hands of the West.

This means we need a strong US, a strong democracy, a society where once elections are over, is united in all key internal and external issues. That is not happening now.

Sadly, the US is more polarized than ever before. I believe Trump’s style pushed the polarisation further, but the Democrats, and much of the media, with their highly emotional, almost hysterical reactions, pushed it even further. They treated Trump’s often course style as if that was the whole person of Trump, some even suggested Trump had totalitarian tendencies. Those are absurd accusations because in Trump’s long history nobody has accused him of being authoritarian. Now, with Trump gone, at leas for now, the polarisation continues.

Both sides use anything as a political weapon; for example, the Democrats and the pro-Democrat media, politicized Rittenhouse’s triel ton unimaginable heights, the guy was metaphorically lynched by the media. Social media too is full of implications that, “he would not find a place to hide”. The trial was almost a formality for those people: for them Rittenhouse was guilty, no trial needed.

But the Republicans also politicized the trial. This is obvious now; with the trial over, and Rittenhouse declared “not guilty”, a few Republican politicians are even offering jobs in Washington to him. First of all, Rittenhouse was declared “not guilty”, he was not declared “innocent”, the courts never do that.

It is also reasonable to think that if he was tried it is because there was reasonable grounds that his actions were illegal. If that is the case, Rittenhouse is not a hero, his actions should not be considered an example to anybody, with the exception of his helping remove graffiti from a high school. Certainly, to be on the streets with a rifle, “just in case” and go to a place where trouble was likely o occur, is not to exemplary behaviour at all. I do not question he might have been justified to use the weapon when he felt his life threatened, but that is no heroic action.

Any time you turn US TV on is impossible to find a station that is not politicized: their news are politicized and its political and economic shows are partisan to the eyebrows, to the point you can not believe any of them. I also have to visit many web sites, in the US and abroad, to try to have an idea of what the facts are on any issue but the political bias is so widespread you can never be sure if what you know is factual, not a politically tainted reality.

This brings me to what I believe is the solution to depoliticize and deradicalize America, and renew its democracy; America should take the next natural step in democracy; become a direct democracy. Direct democracy dials down the political temperature radically.

Why does that happen? Because in a direct democracy the people directly decide many issues, including policies and laws. By making the people responsible, by removing much power from the politicians, the political fights lose virulence; as the politicians lose much of their executive and legislative power, the fight for power is not so intense, elections no longer mean so much because the people are the final decision makers.

The lobbies also know there is no much point in pouring so much money into elections; it does not matter if the politician, or the party, the lobbyists support wins, because they do not have the power to deliver the policy, the law, the contract, etc., the lobbies want.

When the people have to decide laws and policies, when they are responsible for what happens in the country now and to the country in the future, they are not interested in partisan media, they want the media to inform, to provide the facts surrounding the issue because they have to decide the issue. If the media provide opinion, the voters do not want partisan opinion.

In a direct democracy voting is very serious, voters do not just have to elect this or that politician with the “vision”, the “leadership qualities”, or some other slogan the political marketers come up with. The people need, like any executive, the facts, realistic, factual information, not propaganda. In this way, the media also become much less partisan, or no partisan at all, in a direct democracy.

How do I know all this?, because I studied the Swiss system; it delivers. For many reasons it is much more effective than the direct democracy they practice in California. California’s, and other US States’ direct democracy does ot have much in common with Switzerland’s. Another key difference is that the Swiss have direct democracy at the national level too.

The Swiss found inspiration for their constitution in the American constitution, but in 1867, they introduced a radical improvement; they introduced direct democracy. It is time now for America to find inspiration in the Swiss constitution and political practices.

I am convinced that with direct democracy polarisation will radically drop in America, unity will be the normal thing again. That is a very important change we need to navigate the ugly years we may face with China, until the Chinese decide, like I am sure they will, as the Chinese of Taiwan did, that dictatorship is a bad system for the human soul and also for the pocket.

But Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, France and other representative democracies, while not as polarized as the US, they are also polarised and for the same reason; politicians in representative democracies have too much power; the fight for the power drives them to extremes and contaminates all of society.

I suggest you inform yourself about Swiss direct democracy. Do not rely on the opinion of pundits, do some research yourself. I believe it will open your eyes to the falsehoods about direct democracy, and you will see it is the system American and other countries need, even China will end up as direct democracy. As a matter of fact, Taiwan has taken important steps in that direction, inspired, as you might guess, by the Swiss.


Victor Lopez

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