What Are Some Examples of Direct Democracy?

There are examples of direct democracy in evidence across the world, from ballot measure voting in the United States to Switzerland’s political system, which relies heavily on the voice of the people. Direct democracy differs from representative democracy because voters are allowed a much greater measure of control over political minutiae.

Direct democracy is a system that allows citizens to participate in most, if not all, aspects of governance through voting. For example, in Switzerland, federal laws and changes to the national constitution must be voted on by the citizenry. This is direct democracy, as opposed to the United States’ representative democracy, which allows Congress and the Supreme Court to make federal laws and amendments to the constitution. Members of the U.S. Congress are voted into office to represent their districts. However, most states in the U.S. allow citizens to vote on ballot measures that lead to state or local laws being made, which is another form of direct democracy.