One Direct Democracy

10 Reasons Direct Democracy Is Better Than Representative Democracy

10 Reasons: Why Direct Democracy Is Better Than Representative Democracy

1: The People Have The Power

The single most important reason for why Direct Democracy is better than Representative Democracy is that the people will have the power.

You might be thinking that the people do have the power in a Representative Democracy because they vote for a politician to represent them in government. That’s technically true. So the question is not about whether you have any power. The question is, how much power do you have and is it enough?

When you elect someone to represent you in government only have power on election day. If the next election is in 4 years, then you have power on one day then you have zero power for four years. What happens during that fours years? If there’s a new law or policy that needs to be voted on by the government every week for fours years then there will be approximately 200 issues that will be voted on by politicians and you have absolutely no control over the result.

So, why do we want the power? Two reasons:
1. Freedom and control over your own destiny.
2. Politicians cannot be trusted.

Let’s talk about freedom and control over your own destiny. This comes from the psychological concept of self determination.

In psychology, self-determination is a concept that relates to your ability to make choices and control your own life. This ability plays an important role in psychological health and well-being. It allows to feel like you have control over your choices and your life. It also has an impact on motivation—people feel more motivated to take action when they believe that their action can effect the outcome. This is the summary – the less self determination we have, the more oppressed we feel.

Having the power doesn’t mean we’re going to get everything we want because, regardless of whether you use Representative Democracy or Direct Democracy, the majority will rule. If you live in a community you cannot have 100% self determination because you live with other humans and it’s impossible for you to agree on everything so you have to agree to some restrictions in order to be able to live together in harmony – but Direct Democracy provides the result that has the least amount of restrictions and the restrictions that do exist will be uniquely customized for that specific community.

In the meantime, it’s much easier for us to accept the fact that our fellow citizens have a different view but it’s very difficult for us to accept the government shutting down our ideas.

So, Direct Democracy doesn’t provide 100% self determination because that’s impossible but it does bring us much closer to self determination than Representative Democracy.

Now, let’s talking about trusting politicians. When you elect a politician in a Representative Democracy you’re making a decision to trust them. There are two important points to make about this:

One: You have no reason to trust them. Why? Because they’re incentivized to do one thing and one thing only – get elected or get re elected. In almost every democracy, getting elected or re elected, requires money and the people that provide the money don’t do it in return for nothing. So politicians cannot be trusted because they often put the interests of their donors ahead of the interests of the people.

Two: The stakes are so high that the we shouldn’t be relying on trust. When we elect politicians we give them the authority to control billions of dollars of tax payer money and to vote on the laws that govern every aspect of our day to day lives.

You never see this kind of trust in business. Everything requires a contract. When we buy a phone with a plan we enter into a contract that outlines every little detail about everything that each party is expected to do. When we elect a politician in a Representative Democracy we don’t enter into any contracts with them. We just trust them to do what they said they would do and hope that they do it.

The entire premise of Representative Democracy is that it is based on trust. Again, the stakes are so high that the we shouldn’t be relying on trust. This is all extremely outdated, unprofessional, pathetic and unnecessary in 2022.

The whole point of democracy is to give the power to the people. Representative Democracy was invented because Direct Democracy wasn’t practical at the time – meaning that it was a temporary, sub standard, bandaid solution.

We don’t need the bandaid any more. The reasons that Direct Democracy wasn’t practical have been solved.

Of course, existing politicians will oppose all of this because they want power.

2: No Left Or Right

One of the most important reasons for pursuing Direct Democracy is that it allows us to replace the outdated two-party system that dominates most democracies.

Regardless of which democracy you live in, you have two or more political parties that are trying to convince you to vote for them. Here’s the problem. These parties state their position on hundreds, if not, thousands of issues. The reason you vote for one of these parties is that you agree with “some” of their positions on “some” of these issues. But you don’t agree with all of them.

For example, some conservatives are climate change deniers while others think it’s real. Some progressives want to increase taxes on the rich and some don’t. We’re all individuals with a unique political profile.

It’s not possible for our unique political profile to match up with all of the positions that a political party has taken on 1,000’s of issues.

Let’s talk about this with an example. Pew research completed a survey before the 2020 elections in the US to find out what issues were most important to voters. This is a list of the 12 most important issues. But here’s a different graph that breaks down how important each issue is – based on whether you’re a Biden or Trump supporter.

So now, let’s assume that the left-wing party has released its policy positions on these issues. It’s possible your personal views on these policy positions might match up like this but another left-wing voter might have a profile that looks like this or this. The same is true for right-wing voters.

In the meantime, you can see that setting up an independent party that has a different policy profile won’t solve anything because you will end up with the same problem. The reality is that we are individuals and there are too many policy position combinations to make this work in a two-party system.

It’s also important to remember that these 12 issues are big issues that should be broken down into ten or twenty smaller subcategories and everyone will have a unique voting profile that represents their views on the policies for each subcategory.

This is what I call “voter fragmentation” and we need a democratic system that allows for “infinite voter fragmentation”. The only solution is a Direct Democracy framework that allows the people to vote on individual policies directly – not just some big-picture issues. This is why I call Representative Democracy a blunt political instrument.

There are other reasons to eliminate left and right – like reducing the division that’s created by the left and right parties. I’ll get into that in another video.

3: Less Division

One of the most important reasons for pursuing Direct Democracy is to create less division.

So, what causes division? In most cases, it comes from left and right politics. You might feel strongly about one or two issues so you decide to support the party that represents your views on these issues. The obvious problem is that, when when you decide to support a party based on one or two issues, you end up inheriting policy positions on a long list of other issues – that you may or may not agree with. Regardless of whether you agree with them or not, you chose a side and now you are seen to be a supporter of every policy position of that side.

When this happens, people feel like they need to defend their party when their party does something stupid and politicians feel like they need to defend their fellow politicians when they say or do something stupid.

This is all happening because there is a small number of sides and we all pick a side. If we use Direct Democracy, there won’t be just two sides. Depending on which way you want to look at it, there will be no sides or there will be infinite sides – because each of us as individuals will be our own side. Regardless of whether we have no sides or infinite sides, we all end up on the same side.

The concept of infinite sides is just a reflection of the fact that we’re all unique individuals with unique voting profiles and Direct Democracy allows us to vote on issues directly in a way that reflects our individual voting profile on a long list of issues.

We all have a unique voting profile and Direct Democracy allows us to express it.

4: Eliminate Disproportionate Power Of Independent Parties

One of the most important reasons for using Direct Democracy is to prevent small independent parties from wielding power beyond their representation.
A common scenario that distorts the democratic process is when you have a two-party system and an independent party wins, for example, two percent of the votes. Then, at some point in time in the future, the members of  government vote on an important issue where the vote will be extremely close. This scenario allows the small independent party to effectively determine the outcome for all voters even though they only represent two percent of all voters.
These small, independent parties will argue that they serve a useful purpose because they give voters more choice and they reduce the concentration of power in the two major parties. This is true – but they do an extremely crappy job of achieving these objectives compared to Direct Democracy.
Direct Democracy eliminates the scenario where an independent party can wield power beyond its representation because it allows people to vote directly on each individual issue. 

5: Eliminate Concentration Of Power

One of the most important reasons to use Direct Democracy is to reduce the massive and dangerous concentration of power that’s created by Representative Democracy.

Now let’s talk about how Direct Democracy reduces the massive concentration of power created by Representative Democracy. Just to be clear, massive concentrations of power are a disaster for any democracy.

Let’s look at the United States as an example. Congress is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House has 435 members that effectively represent the people and the Senate has 100 members that represent the states. The office of the president also has the ability to approve or veto legislation from Congress. So a total of 536 people represent all of the voting power of a population of 320 million people. Of course, that’s better than having one dictator that rules everything but it’s still a massive concentration of power that can be dangerous and it’s completely unnecessary.

You might be thinking that it’s okay to have power spread over 536 people. It’s not. And the reason is that these politicians are constantly making quid pro quo arrangements with each other that are designed to help them to advance their agenda and have nothing to do with the people. The arrangements they make among themselves are usually very simple. One politician agrees to vote in favor of an issue that’s important to another politician in return for receiving the same favor in return.

That means that the votes made by these 536 politicians reflect their personal agendas and not those of the 320 million people they represent.

Direct Democracy completely eliminates this concentration of power by allowing people to vote on every issue directly.

6: Eliminate Campaign Finance Abuse

One of the most important reasons for using Direct Democracy is to eliminate the absurd level of corruption that happens as a result of the abuse of campaign finance.

Most democracies around the world allow politicians and political parties to raise money from the public in order to fund their election campaigns.

This is the problem. Every politician’s primary objective is to get elected or re-elected. That usually means that they need to spend money to advertise heavily on social media and traditional media – but they don’t have the money to do it at scale so they start accepting donations. Most of these donations are small like $5 and $10 but a small number of donors offer tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands or more. You know that people don’t spend that sort of money in order to get absolutely nothing in return. So, the net result of this is that:

1. This politician is more likely to win an election that they otherwise would not have won because they have money to spend on the election.
2. This politician will vote in favor of the issues that matter to large donors even if voting this way is not in the interests of the people.

So this is a legal form of corruption, or to be more specific, it’s a legal form of bribery. I give you money and, in return, you agree to vote in a way that supports me or my business or whatever.

This is something that has been happening for decades and people have been complaining about it for decades. So, if people have been aware of it and complaining about it for decades, why is it still happening? The answer is that the only people that can change these rules are the politicians that benefit from them. They typically say: “campaign finance is a serious problem that needs to be fixed and we’ll get to it as soon as possible” then, they conveniently never get to it.

Direct Democracy eliminates this problem because people can vote on issues directly and this makes campaign finance irrelevant. We can see examples of how this works in California’s ballot propositions. Instead of lobby groups having secret conversations with politicians and contributing donations and other “benefits” in murky untraceable arrangements, the lobby groups just spend a lot of money on ads to try to sway public opinion one way or the other. So, instead of trying to buy a politician, they’re trying to buy you. And, of course, you can do whatever you want.

7: Better For Women

One of the most important reasons for using Direct Democracy is that it’s better for women because women are underrepresented in Representative Democracy.

The starting point here are the words Representative Democracy. They imply that everybody is represented but everybody is not represented. In most democracies around the world, women are underrepresented in government. According to the World Bank, the percentage of positions held by women in Congress in the United States is 27% and that number is close to the average for most democracies around the world despite the fact that women obviously make up 50% of the population. The obvious problem here is that the people that represent us in government in a Representative Democracy do not represent the population.

Progress on gender inequality issues has been extremely slow over the last 100 years and there’s still a long list of gender inequality issues that need to be addressed now in 2022. This is completely unacceptable and it’s completely attributable to the underrepresentation of women in government.

Direct Democracy solves this problem because people will vote directly on issues so, if women represent 50% of the population, they’ll obviously represent 50% of the vote and 50% of the influence.

Using the One Direct Democracy framework will be even better than Direct Democracy alone because people will be able to identify a problem, develop ideas for solving it then vote on whether to implement the best ideas.

This is important because the politician elected in a Representative Democracy, not only votes on your behalf in government but also controls what will be voted on and when. This gives them the ability to manipulate the democratic process by promising to vote in favor of a policy that matters to you while knowing in the back of their minds that the policy will never be presented for a vote.

This is why the Direct Democracy framework is more important than Direct Democracy in isolation because, not only does it allow people to vote on issues directly, it also allows people to decide what to vote on in the first place and when.


8: Reduce Corruption

One of the most important reasons for using Direct Democracy is that it will reduce corruption in government.

Now let’s talk about how Direct Democracy can reduce corruption in government.

Corruption causes people to not trust their government. It strangles economic activity and creates division.

The forms of corruption may vary. They include bribery, lobbying, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, influence peddling, and embezzlement. In some cases, corruption might facilitate criminal activity like drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking. It can also be used for other purposes like repression of political opponents and general police brutality.

If somebody is working for the government or working as a representative of the government, it’s considered unethical for them to receive gifts because, in most cases, the gift will be seen as a bribe.

In the meantime, there’s a whole other category of corruption, called “institutional corruption”.

The most common form of corruption in most countries occurs when politicians accept large donations from a small number of donors then vote in favor of policies that enrich those people.

Some forms of corruption are almost impossible to prevent but corruption relating to voting on policies in government can be eliminated with Direct Democracy because people will vote on issues directly. Politicians won’t be voting on behalf of anyone other than themselves so they won’t receive donations from powerful interests that expect something in return because the politicians won’t have anything to give them in return.

If a country or region uses Direct Democracy to vote on all or most issues then politicians will be reduced to administrators that will simply do what the people want them to do. That’s how this should work.

9: Better For Minorities

One of the most important reasons for using Direct Democracy is that it’s better for minorities.

The words Representative Democracy imply that everybody is represented but they’re not. In most democracies around the world, the members of government tend to be male, represent the dominant ethnicity in the region, and the wealthiest class of people in the population.

Let’s consider an example where there is a majority of 60% and there are two minority groups that each represent 30% and 10%. In a Representative Democracy, the majority will elect a politician that represents them and that politician will vote in favor of issues that favor the majority and the minorities have zero influence.

Direct Democracy is different because people will vote on every issue directly so, when an issue is ready for a public vote, instead of having one politician voting one way on behalf of everybody, everybody will have the ability to vote individuality. Of course, the majority still has the ability to outvote the minority but the important difference is that the minority has a seat at the table in a Direct Democracy, whereas in a Representative Democracy they have nothing.

In a Direct Democracy, minorities don’t just get a seat at the table, the number of seats at the table is in direct proportion to the population of the minority group. It would be like having a Representative Democracy where there were 100 members of government and 60 of them represented the majority, 30% of them represent minority group one, and 10% represent minority group two. Regardless of the number of minority groups and the percentage of the population that each of them represents, Direct Democracy will always give them representation and influence that accurately matches their presence in the population. On the other hand, Representative Democracy gives them nothing.

That’s not just ineffective, it’s unfair and it’s a form of state-sponsored discrimination.

Using the One Direct Democracy framework makes the situation even better for minorities because the people will be able to identify problems, develop ideas for solving them then vote on whether to implement the best ideas. This is important because politicians elected in a Representative Democracy not only vote on your behalf, they also control what will be voted on and when.

The One Direct Democracy framework allows anybody, including minorities, to bring an issue to the attention of the entire community that they otherwise would not be aware of, or would be ignored by a politician in a Representative Democracy. So, not only do minorities get a seat at the table when voting, they have the ability to raise issues that would otherwise be ignored, develop ideas to solve them, and have a say on when these ideas can be put to a public vote.

10: More Citizen Involvement

One of the most important reasons for using Direct Democracy is to allow the members of a community to get involved with the decisions that impact their own community.

The reality is that members of a community are more likely to develop a better solution for problems in their community than any government. And the members of a community are incentivized to get involved because the outcome will have a direct impact on their lives. Community involvement also allows governments to tap into a free source of knowledge and skills in their own community. And if all of that wasn’t enough, the community will be much more forgiving of wrong decisions if the wrong decision was made by the community as opposed to the government.

The net result is that governments will:
– solve more problems
– in less time
– with less money
– and the solutions are more likely to actually work

People don’t like being told what to do – especially when they know there’s a better way. People want as much freedom as they can possibly get and they want as much self-determination as they can possibly get.

Direct Democracy alone will not be enough to make all of this happen because Direct Democracy just refers to people voting on issues directly but the One Direct Democracy framework and the associated technology can make all of this happen. It allows regular members of the community to identify problems, develop ideas for solving them then vote on whether to implement the best ideas. The only thing the government has to do is implement the idea that the community has decided on.

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