What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Direct Democracy?

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A direct democracy has several advantages and disadvantages. This type of political system allows voters to decide issues directly instead of going through legislatures or representatives.

Direct democracy is found in many nations of the world governed by parliamentary democracies. According to the History Learning Site, most of the decision making on laws and policies is left to the experts, or a select group of government officials in democratic democracies that include the parliament and administration. In some places, the installation of a direct democracy is considered beneficial as it gives some structure and leadership to often previously defunct or corrupt central governments. This is particularly true in nations recovering from internal or international turmoil, such as involvement in wars or the experience of deep economic recessions and depressions. In politically stable nations, however, direct democracies are criticized by many for essentially silencing the voices of the public, excluding them from the decision-making process in enacting critical laws and policies that ultimately affect all areas of their lives.

The advantages of a direct democracy include reduced corruption, increased control over the future and better cooperation between citizens. Unfortunately, giving voters control makes it possible for lobbyists and special-interest groups to influence the way people vote.

Some people would decline to participate in this type of democracy, which means the people who do vote might not make the right decisions for everyone. There is also some concern about voters not understanding the social and political issues they are voting on.