To What Extent Has the Use of Direct Democracy at the State Level Been Criticized? Essay

Submitted By Camalam
Words: 615
Pages: 3

To what extent has the use of direct democracy at the state level been criticized? (15)

One of the most major ways that the use of direct democracy at a state level has been criticized is that it produces a tyranny of the majority. It creates this tyranny as direct democracy mechanisms are won or lost by one side getting over 50% of the votes. This means that if it is a large amount of the state voting against an issue that does not mean much to them then the rest of the state, i.e. the minority in the state, cannot win even if the issue affects their lives far more. This was the case in 2012 when North Carolina ‘re-banned’ gay marriage in the state, the gay community was heavily discriminated against by this vote as they are only a minority in NC so they did not have enough people on their side to legalise gay marriage even though it is a much more significant issue to them than to anyone else. Furthermore, in the process of recall the democracy is often taken out of the process as it becomes a battle of money. When Scott Walker of Wisconsin was recalled in June of 2012, before the official recall was made it seemed as if Scott Walker was to be replaced for certain as a large amount of the state were very unhappy with how he had acted so it seemed as if he would never get over 50% of the vote. However, Walker then used his wealth as an advantage by spending $40 million on his advertising campaign where as his opponent, Tom Barret, only spent $17 million. This wealth battle completely spun the vote back into Walker’s favour and he was put back into office. This is undemocratic as the candidates are purely using money to distort people’s opinions and it often changes their minds from what they truly wanted. In contrast, direct democracy at state level is said to be very beneficial for the public. This is because it allows the public to get their own views out to the state and allow them to have the state as they would like, where as if there was no direct democracy the public views would not be expressed easily and the state officials may make many more incorrect decisions on what they think the people want. The most recent case