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What problems are associated with representative democracy?

What problems are associated with direct democracy?

 

PLAN:

  1. Theoretical idea
  2. Suitable only for small states
  3. Vital decisions often have to be taken rapidly takes time.
  4. What the majority would decide would not be acceptable by the politicians
  5. Common people have not as much knowledge in the field of politics. Full participation does not necessarily mean proper decision making.
  6. Minority could feel discriminated
  7. Impressive speeches of the politicians make audience believe in what they are telling

 

Most supporters of representative democracy criticize direct democracy for the following reasons:

Firstly, it is argued that it is a theoretical idea. We can not apply it to practice because it requires full participation from the voters.

Secondly, it is suitable only for small states. It would be quiet hard to gather together all the British citizens to hear the debates and vote for their favoured policy.

Moreover, in modern states, vital decisions often have to be taken rapidly. Even if it is possible to gather all the people together, it would take far too long.

Next problem associated with direct democracy is that sometimes what the majority would decide would not be acceptable by the politicians. For example, majority would have said yes on the question whether the Prime Minister Tony Blair should have been negotiating with those who kidnapped the British man in Iraq. However the decision would result in larger number of people kidnapped and killed.

Furthermore, professional representatives can devote most of their time to political issues, while common people have many other distractions and not as much knowledge in the field of politics. Therefore they could not make really proper decisions. So we could argue that full participation does not necessarily mean proper decision making.

Additionally as under direct democracy the will of the majority is the decisive one, the minority could feel discriminated and problems could arise when there is dissatisfaction with the implemented policies.

And finally not less important criticism of direct democracy is that sometimes impressive speeches of the politicians make audience believe in what they are telling. It certainly biases the decision of the people.

 

What problems are associated with representative democracy?

PLAN:

  1. Representative democracy encourages people to think less about politics than they could do. Turnout in elections is falling.
  2. Representatives are not truly accountable.
  3. Representative government seems to be inseparable from political parties, which impose their views on their members.
  4. Representatives tend to lose touch with voters as soon as they are elected.

Even the admires of representative democracy tend to admit that it is an imperfect system.

Opponents of this system can argue and criticize this system for the following reasons:

Firstly, representative democracy encourages people to think less about politics than they could do. Many people take an interest only at election time and a growing number do not even do that. For example, the turnout in elections is falling with 40% of the electorate not bothering to vote during 2001 national elections.



Secondly, representatives are not truly accountable. If they vote against clear wishes of the electorate on crucial issues, citizens can do nothing but wait until next general elections to remote them. Even if MPs always vote against the will of the electorate on minor issues, they might continue to win elections because many ordinary voters might take insufficient interest in political events.

Moreover, representative government seems to be inseparable from political parties, which impose their views on their members. People tend to vote for party labels rather than on the merits of individual candidates. The system encourages people to conform to the opinions of others, rather than speaking up for themselves.

And finally, regardless of their backgrounds, representatives tend to lose touch with voters as soon as they are elected. They spend more time with other representatives than with ordinary people, they begin to see the world differently and follow interests of their own. They also develop powers of persuasion that can cover up their failures.

 


Date: 2016-01-14; view: 143


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