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Social Sciences
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Direct democracy and representative democracy (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
Discuss the difference between direct democracy and representative democracy. Give an example of each. source..
Content:

Direct Democracy and Representative Democracy
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Introduction
Democracy involves giving people the right to decide on governing practices. Democracy operates on the premise of equality among all people. This includes equal rights for every person to take up political power and express their political aspirations. The people will vote to ensure that the governing practices are executed or they can elect persons to act on their behalf. There are two types of democracy in today’s modern world. These are direct democracy and representative democracy (Fiskin, 2011).
Differences between a Direct Democracy and Representative Democracy
A direct democracy is also known as a pure democracy (Budge, 2001). Direct democracy gives everyone a right of participation regardless of religion, gender or physical well being. Only prisoners do not have the democratic right to vote. Direct democracy involves every individual of the group having an equal chance in decision-making. It is however not possible to apply direct democracy constantly for large groups. Direct democracy is hard to sustain when the population of the people grows because everyone is open to participate. In a direct democracy, the public engages in the making of new policies through mechanisms such as referendums, recall and initiatives (Fiskin, 2011). It is one in which legislature and representatives do not participate in the law making process. Instead, meetings are held so that decisions are reached on the enforcement of new policies. Direct democracy has been criticized for being more open to rigging. It is seen as inequitable game of numbers where people will have huge crowds to vote in their favor. It is not always the most favorable option for some individuals. Today however not many attend the meetings meaning a low turnout. In places where the meetings are held such as town halls many may feel that their voices are unheard. Direct democracy is seen as opposition to central authority (Ross, 2011). Because of the nature of its realities very few nations use this form of democracy. Ancient Roman republic, ancient Athens, United States and Switzerland are countries that embraced direct democracy.
Direct democracy could be used in order to reduce voter disinterest. It also places national and local issues in the hands of those affected by them. Direct democracy requires a well-informed public who will be able to make the right judgment on decisions.
Representative democracy came to be popular in the postindustrial era where a large population was i...
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