to what extent is direct demoracy compatible with representative democracy Essay

Submitted By Antonio-Hollingworth
Words: 670
Pages: 3

To what extent is direct democracy compatible with representative democracy?
Antonio Hollingworth L6 BF Many believe that direct democracy which is democracy decided by the general public through voting on a show of hands is compatible with representative democracy where citizens elect candidates to make decisions on their behalf. Direct democracy is rarely used in the modern day world due to impracticalities, but it shares common ground with the more frequently used representative democracy.
The two forms are very compatible together to an extent as direct democracy is able to counter some of the weaknesses of representative democracy. For example representative democracy does not always mean that MP’s think or vote for themselves and who they are elected by. This is due to pressures from their whip or party as a whole. However, by incorporating elements of direct democracy it would mean the representatives would remember who they were elected to serve and the responsibilities they should be adhering to. Furthermore, representative democracy had historically had a tendency to be elitist in terms of who end up being the candidates that the electorate can choose from. The candidates end up being from a narrow social background more often than not but once again referendums and other tools in direct democracy can attract a bigger variety of candidates and this will stimulate participation and public debate. This would make direct and representative democracy compatible to a great extent as it would mean everyone is playing on a level playing field in terms of the influence they have on their country regardless of their social background. Others may see that the two forms of democracy are compatible to a certain extent because direct democracy makes people accountable for their votes in important public issues, whilst minor issues can be resolved by elected candidates. This makes the two forms of democracy compatible as they can be used effectively in conjunction with each other. Conversely, direct and representative democracy are not compatible to a certain extent because government would be undermined by a lot of use of referendums, and a government being focused on making decisions is more efficient. Representative democracy also does not require any of the tools that direct democracy looks to incorporate which are ultimately dated and can only work in areas like small towns where decisions can be made by the citizens of the region in town halls. In fact the only areas where direct democracy is still used widespread nowadays is in New England in regions where the population does not exceed 10,000. Direct and representative democracy are not in the…