Is direct democracy desirable?


Is direct democracy desirable?


  • It is the purest form of democracy. The people's voice is clearly heard.
  • It can avoid delay and deadlock within the political system.
  • The fact that people are making a direct decision gives it great legitimacy.


  • It can lead to the 'tyranny of the majority'. whereby the winning majority simple ignores the interests of the minority. Elected representatives can mediate between the interests of the majority and minority.
  • The people may be too easily swayed by short-term, emotional appears by charismatic individuals.
  • Some issues may be too complex for the ordinary citizen to understand.


Direct democracy is certainly the purest form of democracy that allows the voice of the people to be unequivocally head. However, citizens cannot always be relied upon the make intelligent, rational decisions. There is also the benefit in a direct democracy of people making a direct decision, which gives the decision great legitimacy; but an individual is accountable only to themselves, and may only think of themselves or their immediate friends or family when making a decision. An elected representative, on the other hand, must listen to and represent the interests of their constituents. This means that minorities are more likely to have their interests heard in a representative democracy. Overall, I believe that a representative democracy with the frequent use of direct democracy in the form of referendums is key to making sure everybody's voices and interests are considered. 


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