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

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  • 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

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    Representative vs Direct Democracy

    You are on.

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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    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?

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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    knee jerk reaction is NO, if The People get to vote immediately and whatever they vote is law, their passions are too easily swayed and it becomes a tyranny of the majority.


    But possibly one could come up with a mix of representative and direct democracy, leaning more toward the latter, limited by the BoR, that wouldn't be tyrannical....


    Perhaps. But there have to be limits on government, and checks and balances to keep power in check no matter WHO wields it.

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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    There are better systems than any form of Democracy. Autocracy, for example. The issue I have with every form of Democracy/Republic I've seen is that they allow the vote of the imeciles and idiots to carry the same weight as the votes of those who are truly Good and Decent people and those who are actually Intelligent. IF there was a means to ensure (via testing, regulating, etc....) that only the voices of those individuals who have proven themselves to be Educated, Informed, and Moral were heard THEN some form of Democracy or Republic might be worthwhile. Government of the Masses simply allows the feces to float to the top. Nothing more.

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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    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.
    Last edited by German guy; 01-31-12 at 07:47 AM.
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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    knee jerk reaction is NO, if The People get to vote immediately and whatever they vote is law, their passions are too easily swayed and it becomes a tyranny of the majority.


    But possibly one could come up with a mix of representative and direct democracy, leaning more toward the latter, limited by the BoR, that wouldn't be tyrannical....


    Perhaps. But there have to be limits on government, and checks and balances to keep power in check no matter WHO wields it.
    Whether direct or representative, I think that the most important consideration is to have a clear understanding of over exactly what areas of the citizens' lives the majority may exercise authority. Without a fairly limited and specific list of areas of authority, any democracy will tend to exercising control over too much of people's lives.

    EDIT - Oh, and I agree with German Guy that democracies work best when they are smaller. In fact, I believe that once they grow beyond a certain scale, they become unworkable.
    Last edited by Centinel; 01-31-12 at 08:00 AM.

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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    Whether direct or representative, I think that the most important consideration is to have a clear understanding of over exactly what areas of the citizens' lives the majority may exercise authority. Without a fairly limited and specific list of areas of authority, any democracy will tend to exercising control over too much of people's lives.
    The problem with that being that most people have too much control over their own lives, as I see it. I have NEVER understood the idea of a Right to act in an Inappropriate/Immoral manner without any Consequences which seems to have become a staple of Western "Civilization" in the last 50-100 years. Do we allow children to make decisions for themselves on important topics? Not most of the time. Yet we allow imbeciles to influence the outcome of elections every time we hold them.

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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    The problem with that being that most people have too much control over their own lives, as I see it. I have NEVER understood the idea of a Right to act in an Inappropriate/Immoral manner without any Consequences which seems to have become a staple of Western "Civilization" in the last 50-100 years. Do we allow children to make decisions for themselves on important topics? Not most of the time. Yet we allow imbeciles to influence the outcome of elections every time we hold them.
    But my contention is that by limiting the areas over which the government has control, we limit the destructive power of such people. They can vote, certainly, but the government may only do X, Y, or Z, regardless of how they vote. Keep the list of X, Y, and Z fairly limited, and the ability of the government, and by extension the voters, to do serious damage is limited.

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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    But my contention is that by limiting the areas over which the government has control, we limit the destructive power of such people. They can vote, certainly, but the government may only do X, Y, or Z, regardless of how they vote. Keep the list of X, Y, and Z fairly limited, and the ability of the government, and by extension the voters, to do serious damage is limited.
    The problem, as we have seen in this nation, is that unless those limitations are ensured by a much greater limiting factor than a piece of paper, they mean little to nothing. Look at what Lincoln did to disembowel the US Constitution and then The New Deal and other actions in the last century that have gone through with little more than a whimper from the General Population.

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    Re: Representative vs Direct Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    The problem, as we have seen in this nation, is that unless those limitations are ensured by a much greater limiting factor than a piece of paper, they mean little to nothing. Look at what Lincoln did to disembowel the US Constitution and then The New Deal and other actions in the last century that have gone through with little more than a whimper from the General Population.
    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?

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