Would you support direct democracy?

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Poll: Would you support direct democracy being implemented in the UK
Yes (4)
57.14%
No (3)
42.86%
james813
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#1
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#1
In my opinion, representative democracy has failed. Those we elect are out of touch from the electorate, have totally different backgrounds to the majority of ordinary people and push their own agendas and those of corporate lobbyists above the policies they were elected on.

Also we only choose one candidate so have to compromise on the policy positions we most care about.

Direct democracy could put the people in control again. In Italy the five star movement is leading the polls and is a DD party. One UKIP leadership contender-John Rees Evans- is advocating it as well. What do you think?
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shirt
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#2
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yeah, but they aren't *actually* supporting athenian-style direct democracy. they're advocating (I can strongly imagine) the "directorial" (not direct) mode that switzerland has, which is fine, to an extent. I think nations like new zealand are a better compromise where they have representative democracy but there can be citizen-directed referenda on certain issues, i.e. corporal punishment, electoral reform, the number of MPs in parliament, etc. a system where the "e-petitions" to parliament are actually binding. I'm be in favour of that. but honestly, I just wish we could have proportional representation so maybe we wouldn't be going down this road in the first place. and proper, good, proportional representation. not with closed national lists. and not with basically no district magnitude like STV. that hurts UKIP more than not having direct(orial) democracy, doesn't it? not just UKIP but all these small parties.
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xxx-ooo-xxx
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(Original post by james813)
In my opinion, representative democracy has failed. Those we elect are out of touch from the electorate, have totally different backgrounds to the majority of ordinary people and push their own agendas and those of corporate lobbyists above the policies they were elected on.

Also we only choose one candidate so have to compromise on the policy positions we most care about.

Direct democracy could put the people in control again. In Italy the five star movement is leading the polls and is a DD party. One UKIP leadership contender-John Rees Evans- is advocating it as well. What do you think?
I agree that the current style of representative democracy is not working for the country and is really susceptible to the manipulation of these supposed 'representatives'.

How do you propose direct democracy is implemented? Of course it can't be exercised in its purest form since the population is so vast now but I don't think greater direct democracy would be a bad idea. I am convinced that the electorate aren't educated enough as it currently stands though as was demonstrated following the EU Referendum with so many people stating that they wish they'd voted for the opposite side with the information that was exposed following its conclusion - e.g. regarding the NHS Bus. I think this exposes that the 'representatives' can still manipulate a direct democracy process to suit their own agendas through a level of propaganda - I'm very conflicted
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shirt
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#4
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#4
I also think that direct democracy would only be feasible if there was some kind of political aptitude test that qualified you to vote in it. with a constitution that means you can't violate certain liberties and processes (i.e. rule of law, freedom of speech, independent judicial and electoral process, etc)
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MichaelChan16
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Remember democracy made Hitler became chancellor of Germany. Either democracy is not always the best system. Churchill stated that " The best argument against democracy is to have an conversation with the average voter.
It's very much of my telos in life to find the best form of government.
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shirt
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(Original post by MichaelChan16)
Remember democracy made Hitler became chancellor of Germany. Either democracy is not always the best system. Churchill stated that " The best argument against democracy is to have an conversation with the average system.
It's very much of my telos in life to find the best form of government.
yeahh, but, hitler didn't use democracy to get rid of democracy. hitler abused the weimar republic's constitution and its emergency powers when the president died, and he just happened to be the prime minister at the time. that's not going to be a design for a direct democracy. also, obviously, like I suggested, even a direct democracy in this day and age would be assumed to come pre-packaged with a liberal constitution where you can vote people's human rights away
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nexttime
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#7
We need people who know what they are doing running the country, which is very much not the general public! What happened with Brexit is a key example of this and will probably mean that minsters won't call another referendum for 50 years :p:

Reform to ensure that private interests are minimised - I'm talking further restrictions on the impact party donors can have, restrictions on the financial interests ministers can have, and restrictions on damaging internal party politics that results in complete non-experts as key cabinet ministers - is highly highly desirable though and my single most important consideration when considering who to vote for.
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MichaelChan16
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(Original post by shirt)
yeahh, but, hitler didn't use democracy to get rid of democracy. hitler abused the weimar republic's constitution and its emergency powers when the president died, and he just happened to be the prime minister at the time. that's not going to be a design for a direct democracy. also, obviously, like I suggested, even a direct democracy in this day and age would be assumed to come pre-packaged with a liberal constitution where you can vote people's human rights away
Well, thats not really democracy then. If the masses' view are contraindicating with the "pre-packaged liberal constitution", this will have to change, due to democracy is all about the majority's decision. One can see this in the Philippine's president, he violates many fundamental liberal values, such as executing without jury. However, he is allowed to do this because he is the chosen one from the masses. Here is an interesting video about democracy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLJBzhcSWTk
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shirt
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(Original post by MichaelChan16)
Well, thats not really democracy then. If the masses' view are contraindicating with the "pre-packaged liberal constitution", this will have to change, due to democracy is all about the majority's decision. One can see this in the Philippine's president, he violates many fundamental liberal values, such as executing without jury. However, he is allowed to do this because he is the chosen one from the masses. Here is an interesting video about democracy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLJBzhcSWTk
don't worry I know about plato and socrates - I spent a lot of time over the last 3 years having to read about athenian democracy - I know the arguments - i.e. democracy is like a ship being captained by the crew and not the captain. justice and knowledge is the skill/art of the state, and it takes a philosophy to properly interpret it and put it into effect. democracy is where those that know not are those that govern and those that do know are persecuted. where the rhetoricians excel and the experts are ignored. it's all a sensible way of looking at it, although not completely - because obviously knowledge is not ideological

but surely that's "not" "not" a direct democracy just because there is the rule of law + a constitution? a direct democracy having limits doesn't mean it ceases being as such - just like a representative democracy stops being a representative democracy by having constitutional restraints on parliament
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Davij038
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#10
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#10
(Original post by MichaelChan16)
It's very much of my telos in life to find the best form of government.
Probably a mixed system like the UK's. No system will ever be perfect.

Just need some tweaks and restrictions
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james813
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#11
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(Original post by MichaelChan16)
Remember democracy made Hitler became chancellor of Germany. Either democracy is not always the best system. Churchill stated that " The best argument against democracy is to have an conversation with the average voter.
It's very much of my telos in life to find the best form of government.
But is it not the duty of government to serve the people? And don't ordinary people know their problems better than a group of elites. Democracy is not perfect but the best system we have if we want all humans to be equal and not have first and second class citizens.
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3121
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#12
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On petty and controversial issues, sure.

I’d rather see the voting system reflect the people than the politics. Too many people go unheard under FPTP, fix that first then we can talk about Direct Democracy. Not sure how one can support DD yet not want to push for PR first, personally I’m not a fan of PURE PR, I prefer hybrids/top ups. Half the number of FPTP seats and replace them with county based PR seats.

I’m not a fan of referenda unless it’s on controversial issues and has a tight threshold e.g 40% of total population so 50% would win given 80% turnout. I also think parliament should have to approve referenda by 2/3 majority, with a set amount from the opposition since they also represent people. I’m not a fan of simple majorities.
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james813
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(Original post by xxx-ooo-xxx)
I agree that the current style of representative democracy is not working for the country and is really susceptible to the manipulation of these supposed 'representatives'.

How do you propose direct democracy is implemented? Of course it can't be exercised in its purest form since the population is so vast now but I don't think greater direct democracy would be a bad idea. I am convinced that the electorate aren't educated enough as it currently stands though as was demonstrated following the EU Referendum with so many people stating that they wish they'd voted for the opposite side with the information that was exposed following its conclusion - e.g. regarding the NHS Bus. I think this exposes that the 'representatives' can still manipulate a direct democracy process to suit their own agendas through a level of propaganda - I'm very conflicted
I think implementation could be introduced gradually, firstly by having legally binding referenda whenever a certain amount of the electorate sign a petition for it within a time frame (say 4 million in the UK, in 4 months). Then abolish local councils and replace with administrative civil servants to work on practicalities, while people make decisions locally through direct democracy. This could mostly be done securely online, but with postal ballots for those without internet.

It would work something like this: someone would propose a policy (eg build social housing on a site, lower council tax etc) and could be submitted online or by post. This would need a number of people to agree with it to move forward (eg 200 signatories). Once this is reached there would be a period for both sides of the argument to campaign, then a local referendum held to decide whether to accept it. It gives people real power to make a difference to the communities and life, and will heal the disconnect between voters and politicians.

Eventually we could implement the same system nationally, with a central authority to ensure balance and implement the details of legislation or things which the public choose not to take control over.

It takes some time to think about the idea to see if you agree with it in principle, then to work out whether it could work in practice.
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james813
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(Original post by Zxyn)
On petty and controversial issues, sure.

I’d rather see the voting system reflect the people than the politics. Too many people go unheard under FPTP, fix that first then we can talk about Direct Democracy. Not sure how one can support DD yet not want to push for PR first, personally I’m not a fan of PURE PR, I prefer hybrids/top ups. Half the number of FPTP seats and replace them with county based PR seats.

I’m not a fan of referenda unless it’s on controversial issues and has a tight threshold e.g 40% of total population so 50% would win given 80% turnout. I also think parliament should have to approve referenda by 2/3 majority, with a set amount from the opposition since they also represent people. I’m not a fan of simple majorities.

Yeah I would support AV+ too above first past the post, but that's a separate issue. Under FPTP smaller parties can be totally unfairly represented if support isn't concentrated heavily enough in areas. Our problem with democracy is that representatives are not truly held accountable to those who they serve.
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3121
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(Original post by james813)
Yeah I would support AV+ too above first past the post, but that's a separate issue. Under FPTP smaller parties can be totally unfairly represented if support isn't concentrated heavily enough in areas. Our problem with democracy is that representatives are not truly held accountable to those who they serve.
It’s even more worse when you take the gerrymandering into account
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Trinculo
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(Original post by MichaelChan16)
It's very much of my telos in life to find the best form of government.
Hubris much?
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JMR2021_
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No, would be too decisive.
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