Representative Democracy

  • Created by: Elena.S
  • Created on: 25-05-17 14:55

Representative Democracy


  • P: practical; E: people cannot be regularly expected to make important decisions whereas representatives have interest in making rational decision; E: turnout under 70% in UK for representative democracy, would be less for busy people under direct democracy; Hamilton: "that a pure democracy if it were practible would be the most perfect government... ancient democracies... never possessed one good feature of government"
  • P: fair; E: interests of different sections of society are taken into account in political decisions
  • P: accountability; E: representatives held responsible to ensure democratic outcomes; E: voting out at elections
  • P: expertise; E: representatives more knowledge + make coherent + logical political decisions;


  • P: handing power over; E: potential for representatives to distort demands to suit own political ends; E: Blair - Iraq War being for "security"
  • P: discontentment with decisions; E: Burkean representation may not reflect what people want
  • P: Not truly representative; E: aggregation of demands by people means that it's not true representation + relies upon others to make decisions
  • P: accountability during elections; E: representatives only accountable during elections unless snap election or by-election;
  • E: perhaps not needed anymore; E: education from independent sources mean people are capable of making own political decisions; E: California initiatives


More practical than direct democracy


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