8 Remarkable Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Democracy
A direct democracy is a variation of democracy that many people believe would be more effective than the form that most countries operate underneath now. Also called pure democracy, a direct democracy is where the citizens vote directly on the bills, policies, and laws, rather than voting for a representative to vote on them on their behalf. It may seem like only a slight shift in the way that things work, but it would greatly impact the country if this form of democracy where to be put in place, both positively and negatively.
The Advantages of Direct Democracy
1. The People Have The Control
While all democracies are built off of the principle that the people are in power, this isn’t always the case when you have elected officials making all of the decisions. With a direct democracy the people have direct power, hence the name. They have the ability to cast votes that will actually impact the way things run.
2. More Information Must Be Made Available
Since the people must be more informed about the small details of all issues, the government must provide them with information that would not have been available for everyone to view before. The reason this would need to be done is so that the voters can make fully educated decisions.
3. Better Government Involvement
Since people would have a much stronger hand in the government, more citizens would begin to care and educate themselves about important issues. This would be a great benefit of a direct democracy because people would gain a better understanding of how the government truly works.
4. A Better Chance For Change
In a representative democracy, which is what most democracies around the world operate as, the people have to instill their trust in a politician. The politicians personal agenda often comes before the promises that are made during their campaign to be elected. A direct democracy lets the people’s will truly be fulfilled and for the change that is needed to actually happen.
The Disadvantages of Direct Democracy
1. Many People Are Ignorant About Issues
The largest flaw with a direct democracy is that most citizens are not qualified or educated enough to make a rational and good decision on things as important as laws and policies. While it may inspire some to learn, most will not and only cast their vote based on face value of the ballot.
2. Very High Operating Costs
Setting up voting centers can be costly, and it’s the tax payers who are footing the bill. With a direct democracy the frequency of voting would increase dramatically, raising the costs of elections each year. The issues would also have to be campaigned on individually in order to spread awareness, another high cost practice.
3. Distribution Of Information
However, by far the largest cost that would be incurred from a direct democracy government is the distribution of information. All documents that pertain to every bill or law would have to be printed and distributed in order for a direct democracy to come even close to being successful. This would not only cost a pretty penny, but the amount of paper that would have to be used would damage the environment.
4. Minorities Greatly Impacted
It is one thing when people are only voting for their representative, but a completely different one when they are actually the ones making the decisions on laws. The minority groups in that country would never be able to make change that would favor them, and many of the things that are put into effect through direct democracy would not bear in mind their unique situations.