This article is about the form of democracy. Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system Politics Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions A system of government is a term that refers to the set of political Institutions by which a Government of a State is organized in order to exert its powers Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system Democracy is a political system in which all the members of the society have an equal share of formal political power Here is a partial list of varieties of democracy. The types of Democracy listed here are not mutually exclusive * Democracy, a broad article on democracy especially its application in modernity Anticipatory democracy is a theory of Civics relying on democratic Decision making that takes into account predictions of future events that have some credibility Athenian democracy developed in the Greek City-state of Athens Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian (and often specifically Catholic) principles to public policy Consensus democracy is the application of Consensus decision making to the process of legislation in a Democracy. Deliberative democracy also sometimes called discursive democracy, is a term used by some political theorists to refer to any system of political decisions based Demarchy ("Dem" being short for demos meaning people and " -archy " meaning rule is a hypothetical political system run by randomly selected decision Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization's lowest geographic An illiberal democracy is a governing system in which although fairly free elections take place citizens are cut off from real power due to the lack of Civil liberties. Known as Islamic democracy, two kinds of democratic states can be recognized in the Islamic countries The term "liberal" in "liberal democracy" does not imply that the government of such a democracy must follow the political ideology of Messianic democracy is a neologism originally used by Jacob Talmon is his book The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy (1951 to describe Non-partisan democracy (also no-party democracy) is a system of representative government or organization such that universal and periodic Elections Participatory democracy is a process emphasizing the broad Participation (decision making of constituents in the direction and operation of political systems Religious democracy means that the values of Religion play a role in the public arena in a society populated by religious people Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of the people's representatives A republican democracy is a Republic which has democratic Forms of government. Social democracy is a Political ideology of the left and centre-left For the Soviet republics of the Soviet Union see Republics of the Soviet Union. Totalitarian democracy is a term made famous by Israeli historian J
For the movement in the British Conservative Party, see Direct Democracy
. Direct Democracy is a movement within the British Conservative Party dedicated to localism and Constitutional reform as a means of reviving public
Direct democracy, classically termed pure democracy, comprises a form of democracy and theory of civics wherein sovereignty is lodged in the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate. Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system The word theory has many distinct meanings in different fields of Knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion. Civics is the study of citizenship and government with particular attention given to the role of citizens― as opposed to external factors― in the operation and oversight of government Depending on the particular system, this assembly might pass executive motions, make law, elect and dismiss officials and conduct trials. Where the assembly elects officials, these are executive agents or direct representatives, bound to the will of the people.
Direct democracy stands in contrast to representative democracy, where sovereignty is exercised by a subset of the people, usually on the basis of election. Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of the people's representatives
Modern direct democracy is characterized by three pillars:
Referendums can include the ability to hold a binding referendum on whether a given law should be scrapped. In Political science, the initiative (also known as popular or citizen's initiative) provides a means by which a Petition signed by a certain A referendum (plural referendums or referenda) ballot question, or plebiscite (from Latin plebiscita A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office This effectively grants the populace a veto on government legislation. Recalls gives the people the right to remove from office elected officials before the end of their term.
Switzerland provides the strongest example of modern direct democracy, as it exhibits the first two pillars at both the local and federal levels. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation In the past 120 years more than 240 initiatives have been put to referendum. The populace has been conservative, approving only about 10% of the initiatives put before them; in addition, they have often opted for a version of the initiative rewritten by government. (See Direct democracy in Switzerland below. )
Another distinctive example comes from the United States, where, despite being a federal republic where no direct democracy exists at the federal level, over half the states (and many localities) provide for citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives (also called "ballot measures" or "ballot questions") and the vast majority of the states have either initiatives and/or referendums. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A federal republic is a Federation of States with a republican form of government A US state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the United States of America that share Sovereignty with the federal government (See Direct democracy in the United States below. )
Some of the issues surrounding the related notion of a direct democracy using the Internet and other communications technologies are dealt with in e-democracy. The Internet is a global system of interconnected Computer networks E-democracy, a combination of the words " electronic " and " Democracy," comprises the use of electronic Communications Technologies More concisely, the concept of open source governance applies principles of the free software movement to the governance of people, allowing the entire populace to participate in government directly, as much or as little as they please. Open source governance is a Political philosophy which advocates the application of the philosophies of the Open source and Open content movements to The free software movement (also known as open source movement, free and open source software movement and abbreviated FSM OSM or FOSSM) is a relatively This development strains the traditional concept of democracy, because it does not give equal representation to each person. Some implementations may even be considered democratically-inspired meritocracies, where contributers to the code of laws are given preference based on their ranking by other contributers. Meritocracy is a system of a government or another organization wherein Appointments are made and responsibilities are given based on demonstrated talent and Ability
Also relevant is the history of Roman democracy beginning circa 449 BC (Cary, 1967). Ancient Rome was a Civilization that grew out of a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC Events By place Greece The Greek city-states make peace with the Persian Empire through the Peace of Callias, named The ancient Roman Republic's "citizen lawmaking"—citizen formulation and passage of law, as well as citizen veto of legislature-made law—began about 449 BC and lasted the approximately four hundred years to the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Year 44 BC was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Julian calendar. Many historians mark the end of the Republic on the passage of a law named the Lex Titia, 27 November 43 BC (Cary, 1967). The Lex Titia was a Roman law passed on November 27, 43 BC, that granted Triumvirates the right to rule for a period of five years Events 1095 - Pope Urban II declares the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont Year 43 BC was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Julian calendar.
Since Athenian democracy however, this form of government has rarely been used (some governments have implemented it in part but few as fully as in ancient Athens). Athenian democracy developed in the Greek City-state of Athens Modern mass-suffrage democracies generally rely on representatives elected by citizens (that is, representative democracy). Suffrage (from the Latin suffragium, meaning "voting tablet" and figuratively "right to vote" probably from suffrago "hough" and originally Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of the people's representatives
Modern-era citizen lawmaking began in the towns of Switzerland in the 13th century. In 1847, the Swiss added the "statute referendum" to their national constitution. Year 1847 ( MDCCCXLVII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common They soon discovered that merely having the power to veto Parliament's laws was not enough. In 1891, they added the "constitutional amendment initiative". Year 1891 ( MDCCCXCI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The Swiss political battles since 1891 have given the world a valuable experience base with the national-level constitutional amendment initiative (Kobach, 1993).
Venezuela has been dabbling with direct democracy since its new constitution was approved in 1999. Venezuela (ˌvɛnəˈzweɪlə) officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish República Bolivariana de Venezuela) is a country on the Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar) However, this situation has been on for less than ten years, and results are controversial. Still, its constitution does enshrine the right of popular initiative, sets minimal requirements for referenda (a few of which have already been held) and does include the institution of recall for any elected authority (which has been unsucessfully used against its incumbent president).
Many political movements within representative democracies, seek to restore some measure of direct democracy or a more deliberative democracy, to include consensus decision-making rather than simply majority rule. A political movement is a Social movement working in the area of Politics. Deliberative democracy also sometimes called discursive democracy, is a term used by some political theorists to refer to any system of political decisions based WikipediaConsensus here as this is the article namespace and that information is irrelevant to the reader A majoritarian electoral system is one which is based on a "winner take all" principle Such movements advocate more frequent public votes and referendums on issues, and less of the so-called "rule by politician". A politician (from Greek " Polis " is an individual who is involved in influencing public decision making through the influence of Politics or a person Collectively, these movements are referred to as advocating grassroots democracy or consensus democracy, to differentiate it from a simple direct democracy model. Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization's lowest geographic Consensus democracy is the application of Consensus decision making to the process of legislation in a Democracy. Another related movement is community politics which seeks to engage representatives with communities directly. Community politics is a movement in British politics to re-engage people with political action on a local level
Anarchists (usually Social anarchists) have advocated forms of direct democracy as an alternative to the centralized state and capitalism, however, some anarchists such as individualist anarchists have criticized direct democracy and democracy in general for ignoring the rights of the minority and instead have advocated a form of consensus decision-making. Social anarchism, socialist anarchism, anarcho-socialism, anarchist socialism or Communitarian anarchism,(sometimes used interchangeably with WikipediaConsensus here as this is the article namespace and that information is irrelevant to the reader Marxists, however, fully support direct democracy in the form of the proletarian republic and see unrestrained majority rule and citizen participation as virtues. Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The " dictatorship of the proletariat " or workers' state is a term employed by Marxists that refers to what they see as a temporary state between the Within Marxist circles, "proletarian democracy" is synonymous with direct democracy, just as "bourgeois democracy" is synonymous with representative democracy. Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of the people's representatives 
Arguments for direct democracy
Arguments in favor of direct democracy tend to focus on perceived flaws in the alternative, representative democracy:
- Non representation. Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of the people's representatives Individuals elected to office in a representative democracy tend not to be demographically representative of their constituency. They tend to be wealthier and more educated, and are also more predominantly male as well as members of the majority race, ethnic group, and religion than a random sample would produce. They also tend to be concentrated in certain professions, such as lawyers. Elections by district may reduce, but not eliminate, those tendencies, in a segregated society. Direct democracy would be inherently representative, assuming universal suffrage (where everyone can vote). Critics counter that direct democracy can be unrepresentative, if not all eligible voters participate in every vote, and that this is lacking voter turnout is not equally distributed among various groups. Greater levels of education, especially regarding law, seem to have many advantages and disadvantages in lawmaking.
- Conflict of interest. The interests of elected representatives do not necessarily correspond with those of their constituents. An example is that representatives often get to vote to determine their own salaries. It is in their interest that the salaries be high, while it is in the interest of the electorate that they be as low as possible, since they are funded with tax revenue. In business revenue or revenues is Income that a company receives from its normal business activities usually from the sale of goods and services The typical results of representative democracy are that their salaries are much higher than this average, however. Critics counter that salaries for representatives are necessary, otherwise only the wealthy could afford to participate.
- Corruption. The concentration of power intrinsic to representative government is seen by some as tending to create corruption. In direct democracy, the possibility for corruption is reduced.
- Political parties. The formation of political parties is considered by some to be a "necessary evil" of representative democracy, where combined resources are often needed to get candidates elected. However, such parties mean that individual representatives must compromise their own values and those of the electorate, in order to fall in line with the party platform. At times, only a minor compromise is needed. At other times such a large compromise is demanded that a representative will resign or switch parties. In structural terms, the party system may be seen as a form of oligarchy. Oligarchy' ( Greek, Oligarkhía) is a Form of government where Political power effectively rests with a small elite segment (Hans Köchler, 1995) Meanwhile, in direct democracy, political parties have virtually no effect, as people do not need to conform with popular opinions. In addition to party cohesion, representatives may also compromise in order to achieve other objectives, by passing combined legislation, where for example minimum wage measures are combined with tax relief. In order to satisfy one desire of the electorate, the representative may have to abandon a second principle. In direct democracy, each issue would be decided on its own merits, and so "special interests" would not be able to include unpopular measures in this way.
- Government transition. The change from one ruling party to another, or to a lesser extent from one representative to another, may cause a substantial governmental disruption and change of laws. For example, US Secretary of State (then National Security Advisor) Condoleezza Rice cited the transition from the previous Clinton Administration as a principal reason why the United States was unable to prevent the September 11, 2001 attacks. The United States Secretary of State (commonly abbreviated as SecState) is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with Foreign affairs The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Adviser (abbreviated NSA, or sometimes ANSA Condoleezza Rice (born November 14 1954 is the 66th United States The United States Presidency of Bill Clinton, also known as the Clinton Administration, was the executive branch of the Federal The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The Bush Administration had taken office nearly 8 months prior to the attacks. The Presidency of George W Bush began on his inauguration on January 20, 2001 as the 43rd and current President of the United States of America
- Cost of elections. Many resources are spent on elections which could be applied elsewhere. Furthermore, the need to raise campaign contributions is felt to seriously damage the neutrality of representatives, who are beholden to major contributors, and reward them, at the very least, by granting access to government officials. However, direct democracy would require many more votings, which would be costly, and also probably campaigns by those who may lose or gain from the results.
- Patronage and nepotism. Elected individuals frequently appoint people to high positions based on their mutual loyalty, as opposed to their competence. For example, Michael D. Brown was appointed to head the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, despite a lack of experience. Michael DeWayne Brown (born November 8, 1954) was Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R a division of the Department of Homeland The purpose of FEMA is to coordinate the response to a Disaster which has occurred in the United States and which overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities His subsequent poor performance following Hurricane Katrina may have greatly increased the number of deaths. Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest hurricane, as well as one of the five deadliest in the history of the United States In a direct democracy where everybody voted for agency heads, it wouldn't be likely for them to be elected solely based on their relationship with the voters. On the other hand, most people may have no knowledge of the candidates and get tired of voting for every agency head. As a result, mostly friends and relatives may vote.
- Lack of transparency. Supporters argue that direct democracy, where people vote directly for issues concerning them, would result in greater political transparency than representative democracy. Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of the people's representatives Critics argue that representative democracy can be equally transparent. In both systems people cannot vote on everything, leaving many decisions to some forms of managers, requiring strong Freedom of Information legislation for transparency.
- Insufficient sample size. It is often noted that prediction markets most of the time produce remarkably efficient predictions regarding the future. Prediction markets are speculative markets created for the purpose of making predictions Many, maybe even most, individuals make bad predictions, but the resulting average prediction is often surprisingly good. If the same applies to making political decisions, then direct democracy may produce very efficient decisions.
- Lack of accountability. Once elected, representatives are free to act as they please. Promises made before the election are often broken, and they frequently act contrary to the wishes of their electorate. Although theoretically it is possible to have a representative democracy in which the representatives can be recalled at any time; in practice this is usually not the case. An instant recall process would, in fact, be a form of direct democracy.
- Voter apathy. If voters have more influence on decisions, it is argued that they will take more interest in and participate more in deciding those issues. 
Arguments against direct democracy
- Scale. Direct democracy works on a small system. For example, the Athenian Democracy governed a city of, at its height, about 30,000 eligible voters (free adult male citizens). Town meetings, a form of local government once common in New England, have also worked well, often emphasizing consensus over majority rule. A town meeting is a meeting where the population of an entire geographic area is invited to participate in a gathering often for a political administrative or legislative purpose History See also History of New England New England's earliest inhabitants were Algonquian -speaking Native Americans including the Consensus has two common meanings One is a general agreement among the members of a given group or Community, each of which exercises some discretion in Majority rule is a decision rule that makes one of two alternatives the "winner" based on which has more than half the votes The use of direct democracy on a larger scale has historically been more difficult, however.  Nevertheless, developments in technology such as the internet, user-friendly and secure software, and inexpensive, powerful personal computers have all inspired new hope in the practicality of large scale applications of direct democracy. Furthermore ideas such as council democracy and the Marxist concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat are if nothing else proposals to enact direct democracy in nation-states and beyond. For the Soviet republics of the Soviet Union see Republics of the Soviet Union. The " dictatorship of the proletariat " or workers' state is a term employed by Marxists that refers to what they see as a temporary state between the For the online game see Jennifer Government NationStates. The nation-state is a certain form of State that derives its legitimacy
- Practicality and efficiency. Another objection to direct democracy is that of practicality and efficiency. Deciding all or most matters of public importance by direct referendum is slow and expensive (especially in a large community), and can result in public apathy and voter fatigue, especially when repeatedly faced with the same questions or with questions which are unimportant to the voter. In Politics, voter fatigue is the apathy that the electorate can experience when they are required to vote too often Modern advocates of direct democracy often suggest e-democracy (sometimes including wikis, television and Internet forums) to address these problems. A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content using a simplified Markup language. Television ( TV) is a widely used Telecommunication medium for sending ( Broadcasting) and receiving moving Images, either monochromatic An, or message board, is a Bulletin board system in the form of a discussion site
- Demagoguery. A fundamental objection to direct democracy is that the public generally gives only superficial attention to political issues and is thus susceptible to charismatic argument or demagoguery. Demagogy (also demagoguery) ( Ancient Greek δημαγωγία from dēmos "people" and agein "to lead" refers to a political The counter argument is that representative democracy causes voters not to pay attention, since each voter's opinion doesn't matter much and their legislative power is limited. However, if the electorate is large, direct democracy also brings the effect of diminished vote significance, lacking a majority vote policy.
- One possible solution is demanding that a proposal requires the support of at least 50% of all citizens in order to pass, effectively meaning that absent voters count as "No" votes. This would prevent minorities from gaining power. However, this still means that the majority could be swayed by demagoguery. Also, this solution could be used by representative democracy.
- Complexity. A further objection is that policy matters are often so complicated that not all voters understand them. The average voter may have little knowledge regarding the issues that should be decided. The arduous electoral process in representative democracies may mean that the elected leaders have above average ability and knowledge. Advocates of direct democracy argue, however, that laws need not be so complex and that having a permanent ruling class (especially when populated in large proportion by lawyers) leads to overly complex tax laws, etc. Critics doubt that laws can be extremely simplified and argue that many issues require expert knowledge. Supporters argue that such expert knowledge could be made available to the voting public. Supporters further argue that policy matters are often so complicated that politicians in traditional representative democracy do not all understand them. In both cases, the solution for politicians and demos of the public is to have experts explain the complexities.
- Voter apathy. The average voter may not be interested in politics and therefore may not participate. This immediately reveals the lack of interest either in the issues themselves or in the options; sometimes people need to redefine the issues before they can vote either in favor or in opposition. A small amount of voter apathy is always to be expected, and this is not seen as a problem so long the levels remain constant among (do not target) specific groups of people. That is, if 10% of the population voted with representative samples from all groups in the population, then in theory, the outcome would be correct. Nevertheless, the high level of voter apathy would reveal a substantial escalation in voter fatigue and political disconnect. The risk is, however, that voter apathy would not apply to special interest groups. For example, most farmers may vote for a proposal to increase agricultural subsidies to themselves while the general population ignore this issue. In Economics, a subsidy (also known as a subvention is a form of financial assistance paid to a business or economic sector If many special interest groups do the same thing, then the resources of the state may be exhausted. One possible solution is compulsory voting, although this has problems of its own such as restriction of freedom, costs of enforcement, and random voting. Compulsory voting requires electors to Vote in Elections or attend a polling place on voting day
- Self-interest. The voter will tend to look after his or her own interest rather than considering the needs and values of a society as a whole. Thus it is very difficult under a system of direct democracy to make a law which benefits a smaller group if it hurts a larger group, even if the benefit to the small group outweighs that of the larger group. This point is also an argument in favour of Direct Democracy, as current representative party systems often make decisions that are not in line with or in favour of the mass of the population, but of a small elite group. Making it difficult to enshrine laws that benefit the small minority of the ruling class will level the playing field and provide a fair voice for all members of a society. It should be noted that this is a criticism of democracy in general, but is particularly acute for direct democracy. "Fiscal responsibility", for instance, is difficult under true direct democracy, as people generally do not wish to pay taxes, despite the fact that governments need a source of revenue. One possible solution to the issue regarding minority rights and public welfare is to have a constitution that requires that minority interests and public welfare (such as healthcare, etc) be protected and ensures equality, as is the case with representative democracy. The demos would be able to work out the "how" of providing services, but some of the "what" that is to be provided could be enshrined in a constitution.
- Suboptimality. Results may be quite different depending on whether people vote on single issues separately in referendums, or on a number of options bundled together by political parties. As explained in the article on majority rule, the results from voting separately on the issues may be suboptimal, which is a strong argument against the indiscriminate use of referendums. Majority rule is a decision rule that makes one of two alternatives the "winner" based on which has more than half the votes With direct democracy, however, the one-vote one-human concept and individualism with respect to voting would tend to discourage the formation of parties, and it could be constitutionally required that each human vote his or her conscience and would not therefore be required to "toe the line". "Toe the line" is an Idiomatic expression with disputed origins Further optimality might be achieved, argue proponents, by having recallable delegates to specialized councils and higher levels of governance, so that the primary focus of the everyday citizen would be on their local community.
- Manipulation by timing and framing. If voters are to decide on an issue in a referendum, a day (or other period of time) must be set for the vote and the question must be framed, but since the date on which the question is set and different formulations of the same question evoke different responses, whoever sets the date of the vote and frames the question has the possibility of influencing the result of the vote. . Manipulation is also present in pure democracy with a growing population. Original members of the society are able to instigate measures and systems that enable them to manipulate the thoughts of new members to the society. Proponents counter that a portion of time could be dedicated and mandatory as opposed to a per-issue referendum. In other words, each member of civil society could be required to participate in governing their society each week, day, or other period of time.
Note: Required participation in civil society and recallable delegations would address all the the above issues regarding timing and framing, suboptimality, voter apathy, complexity, demagoguery, practicality & efficiency, as well as scale. Additionally, all citizens would have the benefit of feeling that their opinion mattered, that they were heard, and that they had a part in shaping the society they live in.
Direct democracy in Switzerland
In Switzerland, single majorities are sufficient at the town, city, and state (canton and half-canton) level, but at the national level, "double majorities" are required on constitutional matters. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the states of the Federal state of Switzerland. The intent of the double majorities is simply to ensure any citizen-made law's legitimacy (Kobach, 1993).
Double majorities are, first, the approval by a majority of those voting, and, second, a majority of states in which a majority of those voting approve the ballot measure. A citizen-proposed law (i. e. initiative) cannot be passed in Switzerland at the national level if a majority of the people approve, but a majority of the states disapprove (Kobach, 1993). In Political science, the initiative (also known as popular or citizen's initiative) provides a means by which a Petition signed by a certain For referendums or proposition in general terms (like the principle of a general revision of the Constitution), the majority of those voting is enough (Swiss constitution, 2005).
In 1890, when the provisions for Swiss national citizen lawmaking were being debated by civil society and government, the Swiss copied the idea of double majorities from the United States Congress, in which House votes were to represent the people and Senate votes were to represent the states (Kobach, 1993). Year 1890 ( MDCCCXC) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses According to its supporters, this "legitimacy-rich" approach to national citizen lawmaking has been very successful. Kobach claims that Switzerland has had tandem successes both socially and economically which are matched by only a few other nations, and that the United States is not one of them. Kobach states at the end of his book, "Too often, observers deem Switzerland an oddity among political systems. It is more appropriate to regard it as a pioneer. " Finally, the Swiss political system, including its direct democratic devices in a multi-level governance context, becomes increasingly interesting for scholars of EU integration (see Trechsel, 2005).
Direct democracy in the United States
Direct democracy was very much opposed by the framers of the United States Constitution and some signers of the Declaration of Independence. The history of Direct democracy amongst non-indigenous peoples in the United States dates from the 1630s in the New England Colonies. The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme Law of the United States. The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4 1776 announcing that the thirteen American colonies then They saw a danger in majorities forcing their will on minorities. As a result, they advocated a representative democracy in the form of a constitutional republic over a direct democracy. Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of the people's representatives A constitutional Republic is a State where the Head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people and For example, James Madison, in Federalist No. 10 advocates a constitutional republic over direct democracy precisely to protect the individual from the will of the majority. James Madison Jr (March 16 1751 – June 28 1836 was an American Politician, the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817 and one of the Founding Federalist No 10 ( Federalist Number 10) is an Essay by James Madison and the tenth of the Federalist Papers, a series arguing He says, "A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. "  John Witherspoon, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, said "Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state — it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage. This article is about declarations of independence in general " Alexander Hamilton said, "That a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity…".
Despite the framers' intentions in the beginning of the republic, ballot measures and their corresponding referendums have been widely used at the state and sub-state level. There is much state and federal case law, from the early 1900s to the 1990s, that protects the people's right to each of these direct democracy governance components (Magleby, 1984, and Zimmerman, 1999). Case law' (also known as decisional law or judicial precedent) is that body of reported Judicial opinions in countries that have Common law The 1990s collectively refers to the years between and including 1990 and 1999 The first United States Supreme Court ruling in favor of the citizen lawmaking was in Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company v. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. Oregon, 223 U. S. 118—in 1912 (Zimmerman, December 1999). President Theodore Roosevelt, in his "Charter of Democracy" speech to the 1912 Ohio constitutional convention, stated "I believe in the Initiative and Referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes misrepresentative. The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by Theodore Roosevelt (ˈroʊzəvɛlt October 27 1858 January 6 1919 also known as T Ohio ( is a Midwestern state of the United States. As part of the Great Lakes region, Ohio has long been a cultural and geographical crossroads "
In various states, referendums through which the people rule include:
- Referrals by the legislature to the people of "proposed constitutional amendments" (constitutionally used in 49 states, excepting only Delaware — Initiative & Referendum Institute, 2004). Delaware ( is a state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.
- Referrals by the legislature to the people of "proposed statute laws" (constitutionally used in all 50 states — Initiative & Referendum Institute, 2004).
- Constitutional amendment initiative is the most powerful citizen-initiated, direct democracy governance component. It is a constitutionally-defined petition process of "proposed constitutional law," which, if successful, results in its provisions being written directly into the state's constitution. Since constitutional law cannot be altered by state legislatures, this direct democracy component gives the people an automatic superiority and sovereignty, over representative government (Magelby, 1984). It is utilized at the state level in eighteen states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Dakota (Cronin, 1989). The State of Arizona ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. Arkansas ( is a state located in the southern region of the United States. California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. The State of Colorado ( or chiefly by nonresidents) is a state located in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States of America. Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Michigan ( is a Midwestern state of the United States of America. Mississippi ( is a state located in the Deep South of the United States Missouri ( or) is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee Montana ( is a state in the Western United States. One-third of the state in the western part contains numerous mountain ranges (approximately 77 named of the northern Nebraska ( is a state located on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States and Nevada ( is a state located in the western region of the United States of America. North Dakota ( is a state located in the Midwestern and Western regions of the United States of America. Ohio ( is a Midwestern state of the United States. As part of the Great Lakes region, Ohio has long been a cultural and geographical crossroads Oklahoma ( is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. Oregon ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. South Dakota ( is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America. Among the eighteen states, there are three main types of the constitutional amendment initiative, with different degrees of involvement of the state legislature distinguishing between the types (Zimmerman, December 1999).
- Statute law initiative is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process of "proposed statute law," which, if successful, results in law being written directly into the state's statutes. The statute initiative is used at the state level in twenty-one states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming (Cronin, 1989). Alaska ( Аляска Alyaska) is a state in the United States of America, in the northwest of the North American continent The State of Idaho ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States of America. The State of Maine ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean The State of Utah (ˈjuːtɔː or) is a western state of the United States. Washington ( is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The State of Wyoming ( is a sparsely populated state in the western region of the United States. Note that, in Utah, there is no constitutional provision for citizen lawmaking. All of Utah's I&R law is in the state statutes (Zimmerman, December 1999). In most states, there is no special protection for citizen-made statutes; the legislature can begin to amend them immediately.
- Statute law referendum is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process of the "proposed veto of all or part of a legislature-made law," which, if successful, repeals the standing law. It is used at the state level in twenty-four states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming (Cronin, 1989). The Commonwealth of Kentucky ( is a state located in the East Central United States of America. New Mexico ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America.
- The recall is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process, which, if successful, removes an elected official from office by "recalling" the official's election. In most state and sub-state jurisdictions having this governance component, voting for the ballot that determines the recall includes voting for one of a slate of candidates to be the next office holder, if the recall is successful. It is utilized at the state level in eighteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004, Recall Of State Officials). The State of Georgia ( is a state in the United States and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule Kansas ( is a Midwestern state in the central region of the United States of America, an area often referred to as the American " The State of Louisiana ( or, État de Louisiane, pronounced) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America Minnesota ( Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. Rhode Island ( officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States Wisconsin ( or wɪˈskɑnsɨn (French Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States
There are now a total of 24 U. S. states with constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, direct democracy governance components (Zimmerman, December 1999). In the United States, for the most part only one-time majorities are required (simple majority of those voting) to approve any of these components.
In addition, many localities around the U. S. also provide for some or all of these direct democracy governance components, and in specific classes of initiatives (like those for raising taxes), there is a supermajority voting threshold requirement. A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple Majority in order to have Even in states where direct democracy components are scant or nonexistent at the state level, there often exists local options for deciding specific issues, such as whether a county should be "wet" or "dry" in terms of whether alcohol sales are allowed. Local Option is a term used to describe the freedom whereby local political jurisdictions typically counties or Municipalities, can decide by popular vote certain
In the U. S. region of New England, nearly all towns practice a very limited form of home rule, and decide local affairs through the direct democratic process of the town meeting. The article is about the geographic sense of the term For other uses including Regions and Regional, see Region (disambiguation. History See also History of New England New England's earliest inhabitants were Algonquian -speaking Native Americans including the Home rule refers to a demand that constituent parts of a state be given greater self-government within the greater administrative purview of the central government A town meeting is a meeting where the population of an entire geographic area is invited to participate in a gathering often for a political administrative or legislative purpose
Contemporary movements for direct democracy via direct democratic praxis
Some contemporary movements working for direct democracy via direct democratic praxis include:
- Abahlali baseMjondolo - South African shack dwellers' movement
- Inclusive Democracy - Takis Fotopolous' Inclusive Democracy Project & Journal of Inclusive Democracy
- Aktivdemokrati.se - Direct democratic party aiming for the parliament of Sweden
- Direct Democracy - Campaign group within the U. Praxis is the process by which a Theory, lesson or skill is enacted or practiced Abahlali baseMjondolo is a popular entirely non-professionalized and democratic mass movement of Shack dwellers and other poor people in South Africa. The theoretical project of Inclusive Democracy ( ID; as distinguished from the political project which is part of the democratic and autonomy traditions emerged from the work "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation. K. Conservative Party
- Metagovernment - Website implementing open source governance as a replacement for current governments
- Landless Workers' Movement - Brazilian landless people's movement
- Vote.org - In 2003, registered U. Open source governance is a Political philosophy which advocates the application of the philosophies of the Open source and Open content movements to Brazil 's Landless Workers Movement, or in Portuguese Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST is the largest Social movement in S. voters began voting to ratify the National Initiative for Democracy led by former US Senator (and now Presidential candidate) Mike Gravel. A national initiative refers to proposals within the United States to allow for Ballot initiatives at the federal level. Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel (grəˈvɛl (born May 13 1930 is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from The National Initiative would allow more, better and national ballot initiatives. http://ni4d.us/
- Zapatista Army of National Liberation - Mexican indigenous people's movement
- ^ A. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation ( Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) is an armed Revolutionary group based in Chiapas Anarchism is a Political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all compulsory Government, i Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system For the Soviet republics of the Soviet Union see Republics of the Soviet Union. Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist Demoex, an appellation short for Democracy experiment, is a local Swedish Political party, and represents an experiment with Direct democracy E-democracy, a combination of the words " electronic " and " Democracy," comprises the use of electronic Communications Technologies The theoretical project of Inclusive Democracy ( ID; as distinguished from the political project which is part of the democratic and autonomy traditions emerged from the work The open politics theory combines aspects of the Free software and Open content movements promoting Decision making methods claimed to be more open Open source governance is a Political philosophy which advocates the application of the philosophies of the Open source and Open content movements to Radical transparency is a Management method where nearly all decision making is carried out publicly Sociocracy is a system of governance using consent-based decision making among equivalent individuals and an organizational structure based on Cybernetic principles Democracy in World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Inc. , 2006. B. Pure democracy entry in Merriam-Webster Dictionary. C. Pure democracy entry in American Heritage Dictionary"
- ^ Marx and Engels, The Civil War in France
- ^ Ace Project - Focus on Direct Democracy Retrieved 2007-09-07
- ^ Jane J. Mansbridge. Beyond Adversary Democracy (1983)
- ^ Ace Project - Referendums Retrieved 2007-09-07
- ^ The Federalist No. 10 - The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued) - Daily Advertiser - November 22, 1787 - James Madison Retrieved 2007-09-07
- Arnon, Harel (January 2008). "A Theory of Direct Legislation" (LFB Scholarly)
- Cary, M. (1967) A History Of Rome: Down To The Reign Of Constantine. St. Martin's Press, 2nd edition.
- Cronin, Thomas E. (1989). Direct Democracy: The Politics Of Initiative, Referendum, And Recall. Harvard University Press.
- Finley, M. I. (1973). Democracy Ancient And Modern. Rutgers University Press.
- Fotopoulos, Takis, Towards an Inclusive Democracy: The Crisis of the Growth Economy and the Need for a New Liberatory Project (London & NY: Cassell, 1997). Takis Fotopoulos (Τάκης Φωτόπουλος born, is a Greek-Londoner political philosopher economist editor of Democracy & Nature and The International Journal
- Fotopoulos, Takis, The Multidimensional Crisis and Inclusive Democracy. Takis Fotopoulos (Τάκης Φωτόπουλος born, is a Greek-Londoner political philosopher economist editor of Democracy & Nature and The International Journal The theoretical project of Inclusive Democracy ( ID; as distinguished from the political project which is part of the democratic and autonomy traditions emerged from the work (Athens: Gordios, 2005). (English translation of the book with the same title published in Greek).
- Fotopoulos, Takis, "Liberal and Socialist “Democracies” versus Inclusive Democracy", The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, vol. Takis Fotopoulos (Τάκης Φωτόπουλος born, is a Greek-Londoner political philosopher economist editor of Democracy & Nature and The International Journal 2, no. 2, (January 2006).
- Gerber, Elisabeth R. (1999). The Populist Paradox: Interest Group Influence And The Promise Of Direct Legislation. Princeton University Press.
- Hansen, Mogens Herman (1999). Mogens Herman Hansen (b August 20 1940 in Frederiksberg, Denmark) is a Danish classical philologist who is one of the leading scholars The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes: Structure, Principles and Ideology. University of Oklahoma, Norman (orig. 1991).
- Kobach, Kris W. (1993). The Referendum: Direct Democracy In Switzerland. Dartmouth Publishing Company.
- Köchler, Hans (1995). Hans Köchler (born October 18 1948 in Schwaz, Tyrol, Austria) is Full Professor of Philosophy and Chairman A Theoretical Examination of the Dichotomy between Democratic Constitutions and Political Reality. University Center Luxemburg.
- Magleby, David B. (1984). Direct Legislation: Voting On Ballot Propositions In The United States. Johns Hopkins University Press.
- National Conference of State Legislatures, (2004). Recall Of State Officials
- Polybius (c. 150 BC). The Histories. Oxford University, The Great Histories Series, Ed. , Hugh R. Trevor-Roper and E. Badian. Translated by Mortimer Chanbers. Washington Square Press, Inc (1966).
- Zimmerman, Joseph F. (March 1999). The New England Town Meeting: Democracy In Action. Praeger Publishers.
- Zimmerman, Joseph F. (December 1999). The Initiative: Citizen Law-Making. Praeger Publishers.
- ðÐ ─ german and international dd-portal. The Open Directory Project ( ODP) also known as dmoz (from directory
- Kol1 ─ Movement for Direct Democracy In Israel.
- MyVote (in Hebrew) ─ Movement for Direct Democracy In Israel.
- democraticidiretti.org - Association of Direct Democrats
- listapartecipata.it ─ Roman Chapter of the Association of Direct Democrats' campaign to present a list of candidates for Rome Province Election to be controlled through an ad-hoc temporary organization of citizens.
- Más Democracia ─ Association for direct democracy in Spain. The Direct Democracy Party of New Zealand is a New Zealand Political party which promotes greater participation by the people in the decision making of government
United States Demoex, an appellation short for Democracy experiment, is a local Swedish Political party, and represents an experiment with Direct democracy
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