What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Representative Democracy?

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The pros of representative democracy include that elected officials are often better informed and the government is more efficient, whereas some cons include that citizens don’t participate directly and elected officials have the ability to ignore their constituents once elected. Representative democracy is one where instead of direct democracy where all of the people in an area make all of the decisions, the people elect officials to make the decisions on their behalf.

The first advantage to this approach is that it tends to be more efficient. Many decisions, such as those that pertain to war, must be made quickly in order for them to be effective. As a result, there often is insufficient time to gather all of the citizens of an area together to take a mass vote on such issues, especially in large populations. According to ActivatingDemocracy.com. another advantage is that ordinary citizens often just don’t have any interest in politics. They are not informed on the issues, whereas elected officials specifically study to be informed. A downside of representative democracy though, is that it’s easy for citizens to be manipulated by groups that seek power. In a representative democracy, groups with resources like education, money and influence have the ability to take advantage over those that don’t.