View Poll Results: What is the best form of democracy?

Voters
32. You may not vote on this poll
  • Representative

    19 59.38%
  • Direct

    4 12.50%
  • Other

    4 12.50%
  • It's all good

    1 3.13%
  • It's all BS

    1 3.13%
  • I don't know

    1 3.13%
  • There are superior systems than democracy

    2 6.25%
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Thread: Representative vs Direct Democracy

  1. #21
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Governing is so very complicated in this country and is pretty much a full time job. If we were to directly vote on everything, we'd never have time for anything else. Just the sheer amount of research that every person would have to do in order to stay informed about topics, statistics, data, technical terms, jargon... Even our career politicians don't actually have time to know all the things they need to know in order to cast an informed vote. Now imagine the quality of voting in this country if no one devoted themselves to governing full time...
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Not a very good poll, at all, so - "I do not know".
    A man has to be honest - after all is said and done, it is all we have.
    American has not a democracy as only a minority of the people participate.
    Nor are we well represented; few of us can afford it.
    Our system works, more or less, and its amazing that it does.
    Right now, the wealthy are way ahead of the "masses", which is not so good.
    After MR , a conservative/moderate, takes office next January, will things improve ?

  3. #23
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Governing is so very complicated in this country and is pretty much a full time job. If we were to directly vote on everything, we'd never have time for anything else. Just the sheer amount of research that every person would have to do in order to stay informed about topics, statistics, data, technical terms, jargon... Even our career politicians don't actually have time to know all the things they need to know in order to cast an informed vote. Now imagine the quality of voting in this country if no one devoted themselves to governing full time...
    I don't need to imagine it. I get to see the ridiculously uninformed actions of the voting population every two years in November.

  4. #24
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Sorry, I hope you won't find the smiley offensive (or the poll for that matter). After all the grenade is off, not on.

    Anyway, I would like to live in a direct democracy society. Representative democracy is somewhat tricky, imho - it legitimates power and creates the impression that people are in charge which they are not.

    What do you think?
    Sometimes when I see polls like this I like to give my thoughts without reading other's posts first. It helps keep my thoughts straight, I think. I have done so here, so here goes...

    Direct democracy would be chaotic, and lacking a cohesive direction. It would be a disaster, IMO. California's ballot initiative system is a prime example. California's legislature is indeed dysfunctional, but they have also been severely hampered by the voters who have approved so many mandates and limitations on them that it is almost impossible to legislate anymore.

    There are inherent problems with representative democracy, power concerns as you point out as one example, but it is still the better option of the two. The biggest problem with representative democracy is when the voters don't do their job, when they aren't voting intelligently and critically.

    Direct democracy falls into the "Be careful what you wish for..." category. It sounds good, but application is a different story.
    Last edited by radcen; 01-31-12 at 01:30 PM.

  5. #25
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    I voted for representative democracy (which many Americans like to emphasize is a "republican" system -- small "r").

    As Goshing says above, there is the risk that direct democracy becomes a tyranny of the majority. And I don't trust the mob. Even when its members are intelligent individuals, mobs tend to act dumb and aggressive. I don't believe the masses have the necessary wisdom and decency to act wisely. When there just is a smart demagogue, you can organize majorities for all kind of outrageous things -- especially when it goes against minorities, be that immigrants, blacks, Jews, "Gipsies", Muslims, rich people, poor people. Minority bashing always flies well with the mob. If the system was a direct democracy, this effect would be much worse than it is in representative republics already. That's why there must be checks against mob opinion.

    That said, I believe in smaller countries/states, elements of direct democracy within a representative system can work well. In Switzerland, for example, it seems to work -- but they have only 8 million inhabitants. I don't think that is feasible in much larger countries such as Germany with 80 million, or the USA with 300 million inhabitants.
    You make two excellent points here.

    1) People are intelligent (for the most part), but somehow seem to lose that intelligence and wisdom when collected into groups.

    2) The larger an organization gets... and I believe this applies to ANY organization, i.e. government, business, etc... the more bureaucratic and unwieldy it gets.

  6. #26
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    Absolutely agree. I don't know how to solve this problem. If the general population stands by while the government violates the constitution, then there's not much to be done. What are your thoughts?
    I have heard other people opine that the government makes an effort to make our lives as comfortable as possible so that they can more easily get away with their true agendas. Essentially, the theory that the more the people have to lose in a literal comfort sense, the less likely they are willing to risk losing their comforts by standing up and fighting for abstract ideals and concepts. I think that's a tad of an over-simplification, but I do think there's some validity to it.

    Now, having comforts in life is not a bad thing, but we should be mindful of the hidden complications as well.

  7. #27
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    I don't need to imagine it. I get to see the ridiculously uninformed actions of the voting population every two years in November.
    Yeah... People who aren't millionaires vote for Republicans. I never understand why they do that.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Representative democracy. With a direct democracy, there would be no protection for minority status members. I don't favor special rights for minorities, but equal rights should be protected for all.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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  9. #29
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    A mixture of representative and grassroots and participatory democracy.


  10. #30
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Yeah... People who aren't millionaires vote for Republicans. I never understand why they do that.
    In most cases I don't either.

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