direct democracy essay

Free Direct democracy Essays and Papers

direct democracy essay

The Ambivalence of Direct Democracy

Indeed, the age-old maxim that the government is for the people is evident in California’s Constitution, and the inception of direct democracy by the early 20th century Progressive movement follows this ideology. The 2nd article of California’s constitution includes three forms of direct democracy: the initiative, referendum, and recall. Respectively, these forms of direct democracy grant electors the power to propose statutes and amendments, adopt or reject statutes and amendments, and remove an elected

Direct Democracy

national governments. A noticeable method of maintaining stability and order in the locale is by allowing direct political participation by citizens themselves- greater participation compared to state and national governments where federalism (elected representatives produce and pass legislation for its people). Such process allowing citizens to directly participate in politics is known as direct democracy. As displayed at the TriBoard

Traced from the 7th century BCE in Athens, democracy is an important aspect of our socio-economic life today as is a major determinant of good governance. Democracy defines as “government by the people and for the people.” The definition entails that citizens of a given state have an active participation in both their civic and political lives. The concept involves a system of choosing political leaders through a free and fair election (Newton, 2010). It is codified in the constitutions of most states

The Pros And Cons Of Direct Democracy

1. What various conceptions of democracy are there? The fundamental, uncontested concept of democracy ‘rule by the people.’ Direct democracy, ‘self-rule’, was born in ancient Athens in the 5th century BC. Direct democracy, as defined by Hague, is “a system of government in which all members of the community take part in making the decisions that affect that community.” (Hague et al 2016, 39). Its goals were popular involvement, open deliberation, and educated citizens with an understanding of the

Direct Digital Democracy

Direct Digital Democracy The central question of this paper is whether or not the rise of the Internet – and, in general, new communications technology – alters “the limits of the human capacity for self-government.” My answer to this question is no. Advancements in communications technology, no matter how significant or revolutionary they may at first seem, ultimately have no fundamental effect on man’s literal capacity to govern himself. The Internet, like the television, the telephone

Direct Democracy Vs Representative Democracy

Direct Democracy vs Representative Democracy The term Democracy is derived from two Greek words, demos, meaning people, and kratos, meaning rule. These two words form the word democracy which means rule by the people. Aristotle, and other ancient Greek political philosophers, used the phrase, `the governors are to be the governed', or as we have come to know it, `rule and be ruled in turn'. The two major types of democracy are Representative Democracy and Direct Democracy. Clearly the

Disadvantages Of Direct Democracy

A direct democracy is a form in government where the people governed themselves instead of elected officials, the people choose the laws and the way they are run in their country, this is also called a pure democracy. The democracy that we use is a representative democracy. In this case the people vote for representatives in their branches to decide on the laws that are created. Every state in America usually has three branches of government just as the nation has its own government. Executive branch

Direct Democracy Essay

Direct democracy means forms of direct participation of citizens in democratic decision making in contrast to indirect or representative democracy, based on the sovereignty of the people. This can happen in the form of an assembly democracy or by initiative and referendum with ballot voting, with direct voting on issues instead of for candidates or parties. Sometimes the term is also used for electing representatives in a direct vote as opposed to indirect elections (by voting for an electing body

Republicanism and Direct Democracy

Republicanism and direct democracy, these are two ways that a people can be governed. There is a major difference between these two systems. In a republican system the government represents the people. The representatives are chosen by popular vote and are given the power to make decisions on behalf of the people. The people do not get to voice their own opinions, the best they can do is vote for their representative and hope he wins. This can also be referred to as indirect democracy. Direct democracy which

Direct Democracy and Athens

Western Europe specifically it’s one of the city on Greece. It was the first birth of democracy and also it was the home of education, that’s included Philosophy, Artists and so many scientists were appeared in Athens. In this city there were so many government came out, but none of them didn’t satisfy what the Athenian people wanted, except one king was called Pericles. He was the first leader who proposed democracy and made Athens glorious by different directions, those were by their military, economy

Controversial Argument On Direct Democracy

been, “Is direct democracy the best functioning and most ethical form of Government?” No, direct democracy cannot function as well as a representative democracy due to the average intelligence and engagement of people. Direct democracy also has three major ethical flaws. Direct democracy can ignore the views of minorities whether racial or ideological. It can encourage social unrest through a mob/herd mentality. Also, public opinion can shift against human rights in a direct democracy. If you can

California's Direct Means of Democracy

Californians. California practices direct democracy which is a method of governance in which any citizen of a state wishing to participate holds sovereignty. It is a political system that allows citizens to change constitutional laws, put forth initiatives, referendums, and suggestions for laws. Also, they can give institute limitations for removal on the state’s executive branch official. These means of governing is a clear contrast representative democracy which state officials, elected to office

Federalist No.10’s Faction and Direct Vs. In Direct Democracy

of faction will exist. “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man(Madison p.746).” The right to practice religion, fortune and property ownership are some of the many interest citizens eli... ... middle of paper ... ... democracies, minority groups interest are not just dismissed but are actually compromised. They are compromised by legislature placing regulations on certain interest. Although no one government system is perfect, Madison’s views on government systems helped

Direct Democracy In Canada Essay

Democracy can be defined as a form of government, where a constitution guarantees basic personal and political rights, fair and free elections, and independent courts of law. Democracy has affected Canada in different ways but, although Democracy is a general concept for a governing process but can have quite different manifestations because of the exercising of decision-making, subject to rule of law and rights and freedoms of individuals. Representative democracy is known as a type of democracy

Is Direct Democracy Makes An Ideal Government?

communities. Oligarchy, autocracy, and democracy all have their flaws, but direct democracy is the most government that provided a better living for its citizens. For example, in Switzerland, modern direct democracy exists there; Switzerland’s economic, political, and social conditions outperform most of the countries. However, this type of government should not be applied by all of the countries due to the uneducated majorities in other countries.

How Does Rousseau Use Direct Democracy

directly involved in the creation of the laws that govern over their own lives in society. In my opinion, I agree with Rousseau’s idea to use a direct democracy, instead of a representative democracy in our society. Representative democracy does not fulfill the rightful needs of the people and does not look out for the common interest of the people. Direct democracy gives the people a stronger voice in society and makes them feel more important when it comes to governmental policies and issues. (Rousseau

Switzerland Immigration Politics

In order to have a complete understanding of the politics of immigration in Switzerland, it is crucial to realize the impact direct democracy has in shaping public policy and public opinion. Hanspeter Kriesi and Alexander Trechsel, two prominent Swiss political scientists, consider direct democracy not only to be the “most crucial institution of the Swiss political system” but also the most developed system of its kind in the world, both in terms of significance and in terms of sheer numbers. Swiss

The Influence Of Federalism: Direct Democracy

does federalism assist direct democracy? Identify three ways it does. Federalism and democracy are two things that seem to come hand in hand in American society. Federalism is the division or sharing of government power on the national and state levels, and direct democracy is a government structure in which people directly vote for what policies, leaders, etc. they want, thus giving the power to the people under that democracy; to put it simply, the government under democracy is the people. Federalism

The Meaning of Referendum

referendum means that the electorate votes on a specific political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision. In a representative democracy, citizens usually govern indirectly by choosing representatives in elections who, for a limited period, take decisions on their behalf on how the country is run. Referendums on the other hand are a form of direct democracy and are sometimes used as a complement to the representative system. There are many kinds of referendum and they

Colonel Gaddafi: True Direct Democracy

Gaddafi inherited power peacefully, it was a burdening task to transform an impoverished nation located on a barren desert which recently declared independence, to the wealthiest African country where citizens enjoyed exceptional rights and a true direct democracy, called Jahiliyya. Prior to the US-led bombing campaign in 2011, Libya had the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in all of Africa. Under his rule, he raised the literacy levels from a

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Direct Democracy Vs Representative Democracy Essay

Essay on should direct democracy be more widely used in the uk.

Direct democracy is a form of government in which all laws are created by a general vote of society. This means that political decisions are put forward to the people as they are the ones who are going to be directly affected by the outcome of the decision. An example of direct democracy used occasionally in society is referendums. A referendum is a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision. Within this essay I am going to be arguing whether direct democracy should be used more widely by weighing up the

Representative Democracy: Similarities Between Direct Democracy And A Republic

Direct democracy is a type of government system that allows the citizens to vote on laws and select officials directly. Direct democracy is similar to representative democracy, in which representative democracy allows the people to elect those representatives who govern and pass laws; also known as a republic. The differences between direct democracy and a republic are, in direct democracy citizens vote and to pass laws, where in a representative democracy the officials that the citizens elected make those decisions on their behalf. In a constitutional democracy the government enforces limits on those who govern the laws, and it allows the voice of the people to be heard through free, fair, and frequent elections. A constitutional democracy

Direct Democracy Vs. Representative Democracy

Democracy is a system of government in which the utmost influence is consigned in the individuals and implemented directly by them or by their designated representatives under a free voting arrangement. According to my research direct democracy also known as pure democracy is when all the individuals come together and make decisions by voting. They are the one who decide the regulation and guidelines through which the people will oversee. In contrast a representative democracy is when the population designate leaders who makes judgements on their behalf. There are many differences between a direct and a representative democracy and some of them are that in a direct democracy the public have authority and are responsible for decision making

Federalist No.10’s Faction and Direct Vs. In Direct Democracy

Direct Democracy is defined by people as a whole who make direct decisions, rather than having decisions made by other representatives. In Madison’s Federalist No.10 he states, “a pure democracy can admit of no cure for the mischief’s of factions

Direct Democracy Dbq

The Americans fought long and hard in their Revolution and deservingly so defeated the British and won their independence in 1783. From there, the US transferred to a government set by the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation did not turn out to provide a much better life than the Americans had under the British, with the states not able to work with each other. The lack of state's collaboration brought about this idea of too much Democracy. After the disaster that the AofC was, there was a new Constitution being drafted; however, many Americans were divided upon which path the new Constitution should take, one with or without a strong central government. This distinction in ideology put the country's elite at odds. The

Direct Democracy In The UK

Direct democracy is a structure of government that all citizens vote on policy proposals directly, and the result is uncovered by the amount of votes. For example, Cooter and Gilbert (2010, pp. 687-730) said in their latest research, “Citizens in many states use direct democracy to make laws on everything from soda bottles and horse meat to affirmative action and same-sex marriage”. There are many benefits to this structure; firstly, a responsive government is formed to the general wish of the public, meaning they can gain results quickly by voting. Secondly, in the words of Mautner (2000, pp.19) “Direct democracy satisfy human dignity and minimise conflicts, eliminate wars and save human lives. It can also cause promote human rights and minimize

How Democratic Is Canada? Essay

it is defined as the political system in which citizens are directly involved in the decision making process. Adding more to it, citizens can vote on all legislation . For eg: Switzerland which is the first and the foremost government example of the direct democracy.

The Pros And Cons Of Representative Democracy

We chose to institute a direct democracy instead of a representative democracy. A direct democracy occurs when all of the citizens propose and vote on laws. This is modeled after the Assembly in ancient Athens. In contrast, a representative democracy happens when the people elect a representative who proposes laws for them and a group of government officials vote to pass or reject the law, which is similar to the current government of the United States of America.

Government: Difference Between Direct And Representative Democracy

Government is an administration defined by the Constitution, but is also a constantly adjusting foundation by the efforts of its citizens. By Litherland (2014), government is defined as policies set in order to lead a body of people (p. 395). Over the span of time, the idea of government has been stretched, changed, and applied to various communities throughout both the nation and the world. Whether it was back in the eighteenth century, current, or in the very near future—government has existed and will continue to exist for its people and the nation it has built its foundation upon. With the use of multiple authors, those of: “Difference between Direct and Representative Democracy” (n.d.), “Federalism - Dividing Power between States and the

Assess The Difference Between Direct And Representative Democracy

A direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of government wherein the citizens have a direct say.

Social Movement And Protest By Gemma Edwards Essay

People have come together as a collective being in order to demonstrate collective behavior for the matter at hand, such as oppression again a group of minority. CB looks at these behavior that group of people demonstrate during a movement/protest, most of the time these behavior or framed as violent and wild, in the book “Social Movement and Protest” by Gemma Edwards CB is described into forms as irrational and wild behavior consume by emotion of the matter at hand or as behavior that are rational. Edward mentions this through Herbert Blumer and Neil Smelser, Blumer explains that collective behavior is used to understand how people come together due to their grievances and social problems in order to mobilize them. He says that people’s “emotions take over and

Georg Simmel's Impressive Study

2014 ). Large groups are said to be better for an Individual than a small ones, and in large groups secrets are important since they consists of so many members. Secrets in life adds excitement and bonding among people. Being away from your own group allows one to share material culture with those of other groups. I see the way we view things in my country, there were complaints when Brazilian dancers joined in our carnival because of the way they dress. My country is landlocked, there are no beaches swim wear is only for the rich who have swimming pools and those who can afford to travel. So they complained that the Brazilian dancers were underdressed. Those from small towns and rural areas are shocked by the way we dress. Most of the rural folk die without even setting their feet in

The Pros and Cons of Democracy Essay

Churchill’s claim that “democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried” is deliberately provocative and intended to challenge the reader’s simplistic ideal that democracy is without faults. There are an estimated 114 democracies in the world today (Wong, Oct 3rd lecture). A figure that has increased rapidly in the last century not necessarily because democracy is the best form of government, but primarily for reason that in practice, under stable social, economic and political conditions, it has the least limitations in comparison to other forms of government. Be it the transparency of a democratic government or the prevalence of majority rule, all subdivisions of democracy benefit and hinder its

Why Democracy is the Best Form of Government Essay

Throughout history different types of instrumental regimes have been in tact so civilizations remained structured and cohesive. As humanity advanced, governments obligingly followed. Although there have been hiccups from the ancient times to modern day, one type of government, democracy, has proven to be the most effective and adaptive. As quoted by Winston Churchill, democracy is the best form of government that has existed. This is true because the heart of democracy is reliant, dependent, and thrives on the populaces desires; which gives them the ability for maintaining the right to choose, over time it adjusts and fixes itself to engulf the prominent troubling issues, and people have the right of electing the person they

Pros And Cons Of A Representative Democracy

Some of the major features in a direct democracy are that the people get to directly elect things such as the president or for laws to be passed or not. The big advantages of a direct democracy are that voting takes much less time as it is just a vote among all the citizens, people see the the changes they voted for take effect faster, and people feel like their vote is valued and powerful. The downsides to a direct democracy are that sometimes the popular vote isn't always the right vote and people realize that after it's too late to change what they did. Around the time of the American Revolution the majority of people were considered, “too uneducated to govern themselves” (Schmidt, et al, 5). When our constitution was being written many of the founding fathers did not believe that the common people were ready to govern themselves, so they set up a representative democracy instead of a direct democracy. James Madison thought that if we did implement a direct democracy it would, “deteriorate into mob rule” (Schmidt,et al, 5).

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direct democracy essay

Argument Essay: Direct Democracy And Representative Democracy

Utopian reform movements.

Democracy, in short, is a government for the people, ran by the people. Democratic ideals refer to standards and persons who look to not only expand democracy, but expand it to the whole of the population. Democracy was the keystone to the budding America; it was what set her apart from other nations. However, citizens looked to improve the coverage and quality of democracy. Throughout the early 1800s to around 1850, reform movements began to sweep the nation. Change was brought upon the nation both by force and by personal whim, but did the perpetrators really want to expand democratic ideals for the public or to benefit themselves? The validity of the statement is only partially true. Reform movements in the years 1825-1850 had good intention

Democracy: Direct Democracy In The United States

Direct democracy is a system that allows citizens to make laws themselves rather than outsourcing the job to elected representatives. The advantages of having a direct democracy would allow the inhabitants to have the capability of direct authority and cast ballots that will influence how things are operated. Another advantage having this type of democracy would entail more transparency within government. Certain issues that would normally be considered classified, having a direct democracy all information related to government would be available for everyone to see. Although this may appear beneficial to citizens, a direct democracy can also cause tension within a government. With everyone free to voice their opinion, some individuals are not

Master Narrative Of American History Takaki Summary

The reason why Takaki tells us the story of his interaction with the taxi cab driver is because the driver assumed since he was not white, that he was not American. It showed him that his taxicab driver lacked knowledge of past history and basically judged a book by its cover.

Democracy In The Fundamental Orders Of Connecticut

Democracy is a form of government in which power lies with the people. This means that the people of the said community can either rule directly or indirectly by electing officials to make decisions for the betterment of the people. Democracy is an aspect that can be included in many different governments including, republics, monarchies, and theocracies. In America today, democracy is something we take pride in. This form of government had to start somewhere, however, and ideas of democracy can be shown in many early documents written by some of the first peoples to colonize the Americas.

Direct Democracy In America Essay

Direct Democracy is dangerous if mob rule happens. Therefore, elites who elected by citizens will represent people’s political will. In order to avoid government’s abuses of power, elites carried out constitution to limit the powers of government. That forms a new kind of government, Constitutional Democracy. With such limits, democracy will not destroy itself. Contrary to Direct Democracy, the system of this government is fit for modern states.

The Pros And Cons Of Direct Democracy

Now, there are a lot of people was worried about the system, because there are too many problems of their government. And also huge people complain about the racism and the guns. So there are some representatives want to use the direct democracy like some old country such as ancient Greek. On the other hand, direct democracy is not a good chose for America. Now I will tell you that why direct democracy is not work in America.

Ancient Greek Democracy Dbq Analysis

Democracy, a noun that means the society is governed by the people, a system of voting, and majority rules. In ancient Greece, demokratia, otherwise known as democracy can be battered down into demo, and kratia. Demo, meaning the people, and kratia meaning the power or rule. Together it means rule by the people. The purpose of this essay is to prove that ancient Greece wasn’t truly democratic.

Examples Of Representative Democracy In America

In America, we have a representative democracy, which means a form of government in which the will of majority is expressed through groups of individuals elected by the people to act as their representatives. In simpler terms, it means that the citizens vote or elect an individual to represent them in the government. Throughout the world, many countries “Claim,” to have a democratic government for example, “People’s Republic of China or Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.” In reality, both of those countries have a government that is nowhere near democracy or republic, they have either an oligarchy or dictatorship which can best describe their nation’s government. Another form is a monarchy, how England was ruled for long time, but now is ran by a constitutional monarchy.

Patrick Henry And Trumbo Analysis

Democracy has many shortcomings that restrict and prevent choice in individuals. Democracy is easily manipulated by governmental agencies, and democracy is no different from previous systems regarding popular repression. Patrick Henry and Dalton Trumbo successfully juxtapose the ideal image of democracy against its actual image through illustrative symbols. Both recognize that forces outside of the general public have shifted the democratic process to only support a plutocratic agenda. Unlike mainstream sources, Henry and Trumbo do not whitewash Western Democracy, instead, both focus on it’s negative aspects, and propose solutions for our ignorant, decadent society. Benito Mussolini once said, “Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy.” Democracy may have a veneer of “power from the peoples”, but in reality, democracy is used by the pauci electi to control the hoi polloi.

Representation Vs Presidential Veto Analysis

In this paper I will argue that two crucial aspects of the US Constitution, equal membership in the Senate and the presidential veto, have created undemocratic institutions and consequences such as 1) a ‘democratically’ unbalanced distribution of power and resources in the Senate and 2) an excessive exercise of presidential power. Henceforth, I’m not asserting that the constitution as a whole is undemocratic; rather, I’m arguing that both Senate representation and the presidential veto have contributed to the creation of a dysfunctional political system and legislative process. Whereas composition in the Senate is a structural constitutional weakness, the presidential veto is not so much a structural flaw than it is a political one, which has

Essay On Australian Democracy

Never before have there been so many democracies in the world or so many competitive elections conducted at national, subnational and region levels. Democracy is now prescribed as inseparable from good governance and an antidote to corruption. The key aspects of what makes Australia a democracy being the electoral role, Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), referendumsm, the rule of law

There Is No Easy Path To Democracy Martin Wolf Analysis

If you may recall, we read an article at the beginning of this semester called, “There is no Easy Path to Democracy” by Martin Wolf. In this article, Wolf discusses the underpinnings of a stable democracy. Wolf states, “The brief answer is that a democracy requires a double set of restraints: among the people and between the people and the state. These restraints rest on four features, all of them necessary.” Wolf was providing a response to the question of what the underpinnings of a stable and successful democracy are.

Characteristics Of Democracy

First of all, it is important to know the definition of democracy and its aspects. According to Peter Joyce (2005), the democratic government was initiated in the Greek city state of Athens in the fifth century B.C., so as a consequence, the word ‘democracy’ derived from two Greek words, demos (meaning ‘people’) and kratos (meaning ‘power’) , which means ‘government by the people’. Secondly, Giovanni Sartori (1997), a Political Science Researcher states that ‘democracy’ is an abbreviation that means Liberal Democracy. He distinguishes three aspects: democracy as a principle of legitimacy (power not derives

Importance Of Political Parties

A democracy is a system of government that gives the people the power to govern. This can either be done directly, where citizens actively participate in the decision making of the country, or indirectly through elected representatives. The purpose of the democratic process is to protect the interests of all citizens of a country. In order to do so, every citizen in the country needs a medium through which to express his political opinion to defend his interests. This is the role of political parties. Political parties are politically recognized organizations of citizens who form to defend their interests. Having a political system that allows the freedom to form a new political parties or to declare membership in already existing ones, promotes democracy. As such, political parties are an indispensable part of the democratic process. However, there are also negative consequences to having political parties. Political parties saw their origins in the 17th and 18th centuries in the UK, evolving from previous political organizations called factions. The political party model then spread over many parts of Western Europe, including France and Germany, over the 19th century. Since then, they have become the most common political system in the world. In this essay, we will show how political parties are essential to ensuring democracy. We will also show that there are unavoidable negative consequences to the party system.

More about Argument Essay: Direct Democracy And Representative Democracy

Essay On Direct Democracy

direct democracy essay

Show More In federal government students learn the different types of democracy and the different kinds of democracy. I will discuss the major features between the two types of democracy,irect democracy and representative democracy. I will also describe majoritarianism, elite theory, and pluralism. Direct democracy was an Athenian system of government in ancient Greece. Direct Democracy is defined as a system of government in which political decisions are made by the people directly, rather than by their elected representatives. In essence, the laws are either voted on or they have a debate about them. An important feature about direct democracy is the fact that is has a legislator. A legislator, a governmental body primarily responsible for making the laws, is voted on by the people. A direct democracy is based around participation from all citizens. Because much participation is needed, the citizens can make proposals for laws. This is known as initiative. Because the citizens …show more content… Majoritarianism is known as the "democracy for everyone". Majoritarianism is a political theory that, in a democracy, the government ought to do what the majority of the people want. This type of government is most popular among political scientist and the ordinary citizens. Another type of democracy is Elite Theory. Elite theory is known as "democracy for the few." Elite theory is a perspective that society is ruled by a small number of people who hold the ultimate power to further their self-interest. This theory would have the more "elite" or wealthier class make the important decisions. Pluralism is another type of democracy that is known as the "democracy for groups." Pluralism is a theory that views politics as a conflict among interest groups and political decisions are characterized by compromise and accommodation. All three theories are used to describe how citizens actually see

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Forms of direct democracy.

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direct democracy

direct democracy , also called pure democracy , forms of direct participation of citizens in democratic decision making , in contrast to indirect or representative democracy . Direct democracies may operate through an assembly of citizens or by means of referenda and initiatives in which citizens vote on issues instead of for candidates or parties. The term is also sometimes used for the practice of electing representatives in a direct vote rather than indirectly through an electing body, such as the electoral college , and for the recall of elected officeholders. Direct democracy may be understood as a full-scale system of political institutions, but in modern times it most often consists of specific decision-making institutions within a broader system of representative democracy.

The most important historical reference of direct democracy is to assembly democracy in ancient Greek city-states , particularly Athens , where decisions were taken by an Assembly ( Ecclesia ) of some 1,000 male citizens. Later, people’s assemblies were used in many Swiss cantons and towns as well as in town meetings in some American colonies and states. Early U.S. states also started using procedures in which constitutions or constitutional amendments were ratified by referenda, which later became common in the country. Popular sovereignty , proclaimed in the French Revolution (1787–99), had rather been distorted, however, in Napoleon ’s autocratic plebiscites . Switzerland and many U.S. states incorporated direct democracy in their constitutions during the 19th century, while Germany and few other countries adopted some elements after World War I . In a more general perspective, the ensuing introduction or practical use of direct-democratic institutions originated from three major types of developments:

Modern democracy most often developed not from the starting point of assembly democracy but, under absolutist or feudal conditions, from people gradually claiming a larger share of political representation and extension of representative voting rights . Constitutions , civil rights , and universal suffrage , which had been achieved in European and many other countries (generally by the end of World War I), were usually identified with “democracy” on the normative basis of the principles of popular sovereignty , freedom, and political equality. Thus, in many countries and theories, these principles have been tied to and absorbed by a narrow notion of representative democracy rather than being used to support a more comprehensive concept of democracy.

Normative theory of direct democracy still rests basically on popular sovereignty, freedom, and political equality, with Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the outstanding theorist of unanimous consent of the people for a free republican constitution and subsequent forms of participation. During the 19th century, these principles were increasingly challenged, or they were deprived of their substance beyond representative institutions. So, in many countries, direct-democratic institutions have not been established or implemented since representative elites developed a strong interest in monopolizing power. In addition, pragmatic theories contended that direct democracy could not work under space and time conditions of large modern states.

With this background of historical and theoretical restrictions, the normative theory of direct democracy cannot exclusively rest on popular sovereignty, which is also claimed by representative democracy. More specific arguments originate from the participatory theory of democracy and the critique of a lack of responsiveness and legitimacy of representative ( party ) democracy. The two sets of democratic institutions are distinguished by basic features of direct participation: (1) direct democracy focuses on specific issues, in contrast to voting on candidates and general programs for long terms of office, and (2) citizens themselves act as decision makers rather than delegating these powers. Like electoral systems, a variety of procedural forms, designs, and regulations are likely to influence processes and outcome. One must also keep in mind that direct-democratic processes cannot operate in isolation but are always linked to the structures of an overall political system that includes major representative institutions. Thus, interactions between the two types of institutions will be an important challenge for analysis. For instance, as political scientist George Tsebelis notes, referendum voters can be seen as an additional veto player. Some authors contend that direct democracy may undermine representative democracy, while others focus on the deliberative functions for a democratic public sphere and the capacity for integrating citizens into the democratic process. One can also assume that basic types or forms of direct-democratic procedures may result in different consequences.

Direct democracy comes in a variety of institutional forms, with the common feature of procedures focusing on popular votes on political issues. Their main forms can be distinguished by the actors who start the procedure. Mandatory referenda have to be held when a referendum vote is required by law (e.g., a constitution) for deciding a specific subject. Referenda of governmental authorities take place when a president, cabinet, or legislature decides, under preregulated conditions or ad hoc, to call a popular vote on a particular issue. Sometimes, a minority of a legislature also is entitled to demand such a vote. Citizens’ initiatives that are supported by a required number of signatures allow the electorate to vote on political measures proposed by a group, on bills approved by a legislature but not yet in force, or on existing laws (citizen-demanded referenda). A popular vote may be binding according to the simple or specific majority or turnout requirements for a valid vote or may be defined as only consultative or advisory.

Some jurisdictions provide an agenda initiative that allows citizens with the support of a minimum number of signatures to place a particular issue on the agenda of a government or legislative authority. Such proposals have to be considered by the authority addressed, but they do not lead to a referendum vote.

There are some ambiguity and controversy as to whether procedures with a focus on directly electing or recalling holders of public office (executive positions, legislators) may be meaningfully included in the concept of direct democracy. These procedures refer, in fact, to the institutional system of representative democracy and its typical processes and, therefore, are not at the core of debates on direct democracy. However, there may be some differences in the degree to which voters have a direct influence on the final outcome of an electoral procedure (e.g., fixed or flexible list of candidates, direct vote, or vote for members of an intermediate body). In recall procedures, interrupting routine patterns of fixed office terms may stress the aspect of citizens reclaiming control of office functions. In practice, recall options of executive office holders are much more common than of members of legislative bodies or of complete legislatures.

Procedural types of direct democracy should be distinguished according to the main initiating actor of a procedure because they typically show different features regarding the agenda setter, the contents and wording of the proposal, the function of the ballot vote in terms of legitimation, innovation , and so on.

Governmental authorities initiating a referendum vote generally seek legitimation for policies on the government agenda, will regularly advocate an affirmative vote, and will have many ways of influencing process and outcome, including official communication resources. Therefore, the term plebiscite is often used, even more so when they are employed by autocratic or dictatorial regimes that cannot be called democratic at all.

Mandatory referenda also very often originate from governmental authorities entitled to bring forward proposals for which ratification by a referendum vote is required, particularly in the case of constitutional amendments or matters of state sovereignty, territory, or identity. Thus, whereas a popular vote on such specific subjects is required by law, the agenda and the substance of the referendum proposal are most often determined by governmental authorities. In some jurisdictions, however, specific issues, again like constitutional amendments, may also be proposed by citizens’ initiative and lead to a mandatory ballot vote (Switzerland, the United States , or German states).

In citizens’ initiative procedures, the agenda for issues and the proposals generally originate “bottom up” from some opposition or civil society groups that demand new political measures or legislation (law-promoting initiative) or object to a particular government project or legislative act (law-controlling initiative). In such a setting, the political initiative comes from social or minority forces, whereas governmental authorities are likely to be in a defensive position and want to defeat the proposals in a referendum vote.

Except for ad hoc referendum calls by governmental authorities, procedures of direct democracy, particularly citizen-initiated procedures, are regulated in various aspects. The area of admissible subject matters may be very restrictive; the number of signatures required for qualifying an initiative for a ballot vote may range from about 1 percent to one-third of eligible voters; and the time allowed for collecting signatures may be very short. Requirements for the validity of a popular vote may also vary from a majority of voters to qualified or double majorities or to specific turnout quorums. Usage will clearly be restrained by high initiating or validity requirements, and initiating actors with strong resources will be privileged. Yet a higher level of approval may support the legitimacy of a vote.

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Direct Democracy vs Representative Democracy Essay

Democracy began in Ancient Greece in fifth century B.C., meaning rule by the people it allows certain citizens to gather and make binding decisions together about the rule of the people Our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people (Pericles speech from Thucydides 1972, cited in The Open University, 2020a). There is no consensus on what makes democracy, but there are universal values which are commonly agreed upon, including equality of citizens, political freedom, free and fair elections, civil and human rights, and access to justice.

Representative democracy is an electoral system where citizens who are eligible to vote, vote for a representative to make decisions on their behalf in parliament The House of Commons – (REF). Arguments in favor of having representatives include that it is more practical in larger populations and that decisions orand issues that need addressing urgently can be dealt with quicker by a smaller number of representatives. The representatives should be as well informed (if not better) than the public and have a good understanding and education on political matters. In addition, having representatives reduces the chance of minorities having their rights infringed on by majorities (Example, ref).

However, there may be flaws in a Representative Democracy relating to electing representatives. Once elected the representative may not vote in the way that his electorate were expecting. There is also a risk of corruption and decision making for one’s own advantage (Example REF) and there is a risk of having a large population who pay little attention to what is happening because they leave the responsibility to their representative.

Direct democracy is where the citizens vote for intended policies directly. There are currently no countries which have pure direct democracy governing (although some sates in the USA and cantons in Switzerland have direct democracy for local issues). However, Switzerland has a semi-direct democracy, whereby the country has elected representatives but also have direct participation in the form of regular referendums. There are many advantages to direct democracy. Every vote is equal, and victory is won on a majority vote, meaning that every individual has a personal stake in participating. Information from the government is readily available meaning more transparency and accountability and less opportunity for corruption. In addition, citizens should have a better understanding of policies and legislation at local and national levels.

Direct democracy does have negatives as well, such as not only the high cost and time involved in organizing and actioning referendums, but also the costs incurred from citizens having to partake (missing work etc…). Ss well as the time needed by citizens to keep up to date with all relevant information, the citizens also want to HAVE to participate and to be interested in what is happening. Time sensitive decisions would also have to be voted upon, meaning that by the time the vote has been organized and actioned that the matter may have passed (such as war or threat decisions). Majority vote results also do not take into consideration the rights of the minorities, meaning that civil and human rights of minority groups could be infringed upon.

A referendum is a direct vote for an issue or policy, there are two common types of referendum, Mandatory and optional. Mandatory referendums also called binding referendum, are referendums that are held due to being included legislation or constitution and the outcome of the vote is normally binding so the government must implement the result. (Example?). An optional referendum, also called advisory is a referendum in which the result is not binding, and the government can overturn or not implement it Some local referendums in Britain are required by law as they have been put into legislation (example ref).

The United Kingdom is a representative democracy and has used referendums three times for national decisions, Constitutional lawyer Albert Venn Dicey proposed for the use of referendums from 1890 (Atkinson et al, 2020), following on from Diceys proposal, various attempts were made to suggest holding referendums, including opponents of William Gladstone in 1983 suggesting that home rule of Ireland be put to the popular vote, 1903 when Joseph chamberlain proposed a referendum for his tariff reform and….(descr what happened from to 1975 100wds)

the first was in 1975 and people were voting on Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Market?. The next in 2011 At present, the UK uses the first past the post system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the alternative voteâ system be used instead? And in 2016 the Brexit referendum.

As described, referendums in the United Kingdom have been few and held irregularly, as such they can be considered not familiar practice for the electorate who are expected to decide and vote in them.

A referendum voted on by an electorate with little understanding and education of the political structure and implications will surely be a referendum based on emotions instead of knowledge. Dicey in 1890 had concerns about if the public would make the right decisions [a]n appeal in matters of legislation from Parliament to the people is appeal from knowledge to ignorance. (Cited in Atkinson et al, 2020, p38).

However, by having regular referendums and a direct effect on parliamentary matters actually mean that an individual becomes more attuned and educated on political matters, Alex Thomson of the Clarion newspaper certainly thought so, he argued in a Clarion Pamphlet in 1900 that representative government was not true democracy and that the way to true Democracy will never be found through Delegacy. The only safe way is through direct legislation through the Referendum and Initiative. and that those referendums would serve to educate the people in self-government and ripen them for progress.

It is also worth considering the views of Higley and Mcallisters in their journal article Elite division and voter confusion’ they posited that asking voters to make decisions that require just a yes or no to sophisticated government legislation of policy, allows those in power to make claims that could be considered overly simplified and deliberately misleading (Higley and Mcallister, 2002). ( Brexit examples 100wds)

There have been many proponents for the regular use of referendums including Tony Benn, in 1968 Benn spoke at the Welsh Council of labour Annual conference, he advocated for a series of changes to take place, including a more open government, more awareness from government about society and more participation from the public ‘the five-yearly cross on the ballot paper is just not going to be enough. Inevitably we shall have to take a look at the objections to holding a referenda and see if they are still valid. (Benn, cited in Atkinson et al, 2020)

direct democracy essay

One person one vote, and the result of a referendum is the will of the people however participation in referendums is far from having all of the eligible citizens voting, The 1975 EU referendum had a 64% turnout and the 2011 Alternative vote referendum had a 42% turnout, these were low even compared to the general elections which in 2010 had a 65% turnout (Bowler, Donovan, 2013).

The 2016 EU referendum in the Uk had an extremely high 72.2% turnout, however the result was 51.9% in favour of leaving, had the vote been compulsory and the remaining electorate been compelled to vote, the result may look quite different. (The Electoral commission, 2019)

It is considered a right of citizenship to vote, in Ancient Athens those who did not vote were considered bad citizens (Blakely, 2019, p87).

Compulsory voting has been in place in Belgium since 1882, and Australia since 1924 (alongside 10 other countries that have enforced compulsory citizen voting) recent elections have shown high voter turnout belgiums had a 90.01% turnout in their 2011 election, and Australia having 91.9% voter turnout for its 2019 election (International IDEA, n.d).

Supporters of compulsory voting regard it as a more legitimate means of democracy when more citizens, as if democracy is government by the people, then it is every citizen duty to vote, however opposers of compulsory voting use the opposite point of view; that compulsory voting is not a marker of democracy as it relieves citizens of their freedom to choose whether to participate or not. (International IDEA, n.d)

Political scholar James Bryce (cited in Atkinson et al, 2020, p42) noted that referendums could be used to pass legislation a particular way and that the outcome if unexpected or challenged, being a decision of the people, this is certainly appearing to be true for the 2016 Brexit referendum, with cries of the will of the people used to halt any talk of upset over the result (ref)

The emphasis was slightly different to that of Chamberlain’s earlier in the century. He had stressed the idea of the device as a means of taking decisions (p.51) on important matters in a way that was insulated from party politics and could secure consensus; and maintained that without this approach certain bold outcomes might not be attained. For The Times, the starting point was the significance of the proposed policy as a break from the past, necessitating a special form of popular engagement.

Another use sometimes proposed for the referendum was as a means of deciding whether women should be able to vote in general elections. As early as February 1894, the Economist made a suggestion in this area. It held that the referendum wasnot likely to become part of our regular machinery, but that potentially it could be deployed to resolve matters such as the House of Lords veto or of Women’s Suffrage. 122 A problem with this idea was remarked upon by Asquith (who was unsympathetic to this cause) and others in the years leading up to the First World War. It involved whether or not women should be allowed to take part in such a referendum. The potential effectiveness of the mechanism as a means of resolving a particular dispute was undermined by the very controversy the resolution of which it was directed towards. To prohibit the participation of women would be to deny legitimacy to the process among supporters of the extension of the franchise; to allow it would be to pre-empt the referendum as a means of determining whether they were worthy of taking part in such an exercise.123 ) (Atkinson et al, 2020, p.51)

The 1945 Churchill call for a referendum differed from earlier occasions in that it came from a sitting Prime Minister, not a Leader of the Opposition. However, it is still depicted as opportunistic in character.152 The individual involved, moreover, had adopted different stances on this subject over his career. As in other areas, it is possible to find Churchill, effective with his chosen brief whatever it might be, on both sides of the argument. Even in his days as a member of the Liberal Asquith Government, though he broadly opposed Conservative proposals for referendums, he allowed for their possibility, including over female suffrage.153 He wrote to senior fellow members of the Liberal Government in December 1911, proposing the holding of two referendums posing questions on the vote first to the women, to know whether they want it: and then to the men to know whether they will give it.’ He said he would conform to whatever the outcome from such a process was.

eferendums are often portrayed as instruments that are dangerous to rights and freedoms, particularly in the case of minorities (Bell, 1978; Gunn, 1981; Gamble, 1997; Haider-Markel et al., 2007). This danger would come from a natural tendency of the majority to be tyrannical and discriminatory towards minorities. This fear was in fact an argument put forward by the Founding Fathers of the United States to outlaw referendums at the federal level (Magleby, 1995: 1920), and that country is the source of the greatest number of studies on the impact of referendums on minorities. Those studies show that, statistically, the risks of infringement of the rights of minorities are greater in states where direct democracy procedures are employed (Lewis, 2011).

but whom people are talking about because, in a given context, they give rise to fears often unjustified on the part of the majority. This is the case of Latin-American immigrants in the southern United States and foreigners in particular those of the Muslim religion in Switzerland, who are perceived as dangerous to the economy, culture and very identity of the host state.

Popular reaction to some minorities and some categories of people is also often related to a very specific context: a shocking current event (serial killing in the case of initiatives in favour of the death sentence or life imprisonment; massive immigration sometimes escalated by war – in a state in loss of identity or suffering an economic crisis (Alvarez and Butterfield, 2000,:2); growth in power of a minority claiming rights and protection (homosexuals, Muslims in secular or Christian-majority states). Such initiatives may also be in reaction against political choices made by representatives or against court decisions perceived as activist, in that they allegedly protect a minority against the majority will. Thus, Donovan says that direct-democracy campaigns over questions of minority rights are not simply about a particular right and a particular minority group but may also reflect reaction to counter-majoritarian aspects of democracy that are facilitated by courts and representative government (2013: 1743). He calls this reaction populist backlash (2013: 1740). Thus, anti-fair-housing and anti-busing initiatives in the United States occurred in reaction to the desegregation policy; proposition 17 concerning the death penalty in California was approved in 1972 to counter the Supreme Court decision of the same year declaring capital punishment to be unconstitutional; 12 in Ireland, one of the referendums proposed by the government in 1992 was on abortion and was directly intended to counter the Supreme Court decision of the same year that led abortion to be permitted in case of risk of suicide;

or unpopular minorities, direct democracy procedures seem to increase discrimination in two ways. On one hand, a number of studies show that representatives, not only because they discuss decisions to be taken among themselves within assemblies, but also because they have to justify their choices (Hainmueller and Hangartner, 2015: 34), are likely to make decisions that are more favourable to minorities. Representatives take into account a complex set of data, to justify a decision that will, in principle, be reasonable. In contrast, a referendum vote is considered more emotional than reasonable, especially since the various arguments and elements of the debate are often extremely simplified in referendum campaigns. Voters do not have to answer for the positions they take; the vote is anonymous (Christmann and Danaci, 2012: 136). Moreover, some authors have shown that the negative effects of referendums on minorities are not always immediately visible at the time of the vote (Lewis, 2011). The very existence of direct democracy mechanisms can have indirect effects, beyond the vote itself, on representatives. For example, Lewis (2011: 367 and 376), and Christmann and Danaci (2012: 147 and 153) show, regarding same-sex marriage in the United States and the policy applying to Muslims in Switzerland, that the parliaments of the states where there are direct democracy mechanisms are influenced by the very existence of those mechanisms and can, owing to this, be tempted to adopt stricter legislation targeting minorities out of fear of political reprisals (in the form of popular initiatives, recall or failure to be re-elected) by the majority of citizens. 21 Minorities are thus in a lose situation in that they are affected both by the decisions of the majority of citizens, but also by those of the majority of representatives.

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