Should Direct Democracy Be More Widely Used in the Uk? Essay

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Government and Politics Megan Barry
‘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
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Furthermore it gives people more political responsibility. The general public are also more likely to be accepting of the political decisions if they have had some say in the process. An example of a large population turnout was 81% in the Northern Ireland Referendum in 1988. In Switzerland they also use regular referendums and turnout is usually around 80%. This is beneficial as people know what is happening within politics and are satisfied with the decisions being made as they have a regular say.
One argument against direct democracy is the theory of the Tyranny of the majority. The tyranny of the majority is used in discussing systems of democracy and majority rule; it involves the scenario in which decisions made by the majority place its interests above those of an individual or minority group, constituting active oppression comparable to that of tyrants and despots. Despite referendums giving the result that reflects the public’s opinion, the results only show the majority opinion, and if it is a half and half spilt, a lot of people will still not be happy with the decision. This is bad and not beneficial as the idea behind a referendum is to please the people and to see their opinions about a certain topic, not to force a policy on a minority that do not want the policy. Very close results show that a large number of a population may be against a specific decision but will have to abide by it either way.