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Is direct democracy superior to representative democracy? Show more Show less

At a time when voters are increasingly disengaged from the political process and disillusioned with their elected officials, many are starting to question whether direct democracy could hold the answer to solving the problem of the growing democratic malaise.

No, representative democracy is better Show more Show less

Individual citizens cannot be expected to truly understand every policy issue. It makes more sense for officials to be elected to make the decisions for them.
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Direct democracy is too time consuming

To truly engage in direct democracy requires a large amount of effort on the part of citizens.
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The Argument

Direct democracy is heavily time consuming and requires that citizens are willing to engage with the process of governing and educate themselves on the issues. It requires a significant commitment from citizens to be able to understand the complex real world impact of their policy decisions. Many citizens simply do not have the time required to dedicate themselves to mastering the process of governing. This builds inequality into society, as the demographics that have the time and resources to do so would be put at an advantage, wielding more power and influence over their fellow citizens.

Counter arguments

Direct democracy allows citizens to personally make decisions that directly impact on their lives without the obstacle of having to indirectly engage with elected representatives or political parties who may not have their best interests at heart. Through referenda and initiatives people have an increased amount of control over the major decisions that affects their lives. It also ensures that citizens do not have to worry about replacing corrupt or incompetent representatives at an election, as ultimately they have a personal responsibility for key policy decisions.



[P1] Direct democracy requires a large amount of effort on the part of the citizens. [P2] It is not realistic to expect people to engage on this level.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This effort is worth it so that people can directly participate in democracy.


Further Reading


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    This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 09:34 UTC