Are we ready for direct democracy?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by ElectronGuru, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #1
    There are several types of democracy. Ours is representative democracy. We elect people who in turn, vote on our behalf. In the 18th century, it simply wasn't possible to vote fast enough (collectively), to do it ourselves.

    Fast forward 240 years and we have the technology to vote directly, in real time. Perhaps in place of legislators or perhaps with proposition systems popular in some states - occasionally bypassing lawmakers, who continue to do the day to day stuff.

    Would it be practical? Can 30 million people find time enough in their day to keep track of issues large and small. Or limited to just 2-3 dozen propositions every year or two, would the powers that be control such a process, nullifying the results or worse?

    Would you want the opportunity (and responsibility) of voting in national elections, not for people, but for actual laws/outcomes?
     
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #2
    No, we are not ready for mob rule, nor will we ever be.
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I'd be up for it.
     
  4. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    So... laws enacted via Digg, and programs funded by Kickstarter?
     
  5. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #5
    Direct democracy is a bad idea and things like the debt ceiling prove it. In 2011, the majority of Americans thought that raising the debt ceiling was a way for government to increase spending, when in actuality it authorizes congress to pay the bills it has already racked up.

    People don't have time to keep up to date on all of the issues and we shouldn't give them the power to have a say in something they don't understand.

    P-Worm
     
  6. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #6
    This is one of those ideas that looks great on paper, but would cause more problems than it solves.:cool:
     
  7. Prototypical macrumors 6502

    Prototypical

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    #7
    When Dancing with the Stars is the number one show on television (and The Bachelorette is #6), while something like The Walking Dead is #65...

    ...Do you really want these people making the decisions on healthcare, gun laws, and foreign policy?

    "OMG, Kortney Kardashian TOTALLY looks like she could be from Syria or something, we should be friends with them!"
     
  8. Andeavor macrumors 6502

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    #8
    If you want direct democracy, you need to change your executive branch of government and create a coalition where each of your political parties are represented to some extent. It's the way we do it in Switzerland, despite the "golden formula" having changed recently, though still containing the major parties represented.

    As for the people being in charge of accepting new laws and changing the constitution, you should give states more power as they have now, but at the same time limiting that power to counties, cities and towns. It'd be unfair to vote against a law that (in your view) would only affect people on the other side of the state, let alone the country.
     
  9. ThisIsNotMe macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Congress could have paid for the bills without raising the debt ceiling.
     
  10. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    If by "the bills" you mean our interest payment obligations, yes. Everything else would face a 31% cut in payments. (Once any cash reserves are exhausted.)
     
  11. Zerozal macrumors 6502

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    #11
    When the time comes to amend our treaty with Montenegro to update section that discusses their economic development and how it relates to US aid (since it will change when they accede into the EU), how will you vote on that? Do you really want to have to keep informed of the current state of economic development in Montenegro? And that's just 1 small issue...

    My point is that direct democracy sounds good in theory, and we probably do have the technological infrastructure to support it, there are SO many issues that are discussed and voted on that it does actually make sense to elect someone who's full time job it is to be briefed on these issues, evaluate them, and then vote in the best interests of his constituents.

    I think what's really needed is a better way to interact with our senators and representatives so that we can see what issues are in front of them and voice our opinion (if we have one), while letting them handle the actual full time job of being a legislator.
     
  12. DesertEagle, Oct 21, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013

    DesertEagle macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Mob rule? If extensive use of the referendum works fine in Switzerland, then why not in the United States?
     
  13. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #13
    Because citizens of Switzerland are smarter that those of the United States?

    P-Worm
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #14
    I think you underestimate the majority of the country. The vocal few yes are stupid. The smart ones are those that stay away from government.
     
  15. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

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    #15
    Do you really think our Senators and Congress people keep up?
     
  16. skottichan macrumors 6502a

    skottichan

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    #16
    Nope, but they have the luxury of having aides that do, who summarize things into succinct reports.
     
  17. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #17
    My impression is that direct democracy would not work so good because of a high percentage of uneducated (on issues), who operate on emotions and prejudices, and non-participants in the process, although I can't argue that elected officials have done better. However for Congress to have any chance of functioning properly, I believe Representatives are a must. Approx 600 decision makers vs hundreds of millions.
     
  18. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

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    #18
    I think your going to find billy bob who's district is Morrow county Ohio is about as informed in those matters as billy joe resident of Morrow county Ohio.

    I think billy bob is just going to vote his party in things like that, the same as billy joe
     
  19. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #19
    Large companies and the extremely rich will just find a way to buy the people as they already do the politicians, and even if there will be no technical representatives, there will always be an unofficial ones. That's just how human society works.
     
  20. skottichan macrumors 6502a

    skottichan

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    #20
    I'm not going to deny that, I grew up in Muskingum County, I've seen the average constituent. They're armed, barely high school educated, poor and white, exactly whom the current GOP is catering to.

    I'm just saying that people like Boehner have aides who do the research on things like our trade policies with Montenegro (or even the Balkans as a whole).

    Personally, I'd be terrified of how quickly the US would regress when it comes to things like civil rights, if we were to go to a direct democracy.
     
  21. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

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    #21
    He's the speaker of the house not a just a representative from fly over.

    I don't think a direct democracy is appropriate but I also don't think our congress people are anymore informed than the average joe on the street no matter their party affiliation.

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. --H.L. Menken
     
  22. skottichan macrumors 6502a

    skottichan

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    #22
    Just to correct you, he's from the 8th District, which is probably the most perfect example of a "flyover". It's a large chunk of Western Ohio, yet has less population than the smaller 12th District that contains my home town of 25,000.

    Being the Speaker doesn't magically make you smarter than the rest of your party, it just means you're a better puppet. I'd say the last Speaker who spoke for themselves was probably Tip O'Neill, and that's because he was all kinds of ******* crazy.
     
  23. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

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    #23
    No but it does mean you get cadre of aides and helpers and the like.

    I like Columbus a great deal, I went to Ohio State so it'll always hold a special place in my heart. I honestly don't know what district Boehner is from my use of Morrow county was just because I have some experience in that area. Morrow and Marion counties are what I picture when I say fly over but to be fair it's been close to 15 years since I've been in the area and 10 since I've lived in the states so my opinions are probably a bit skewed.
     
  24. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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  25. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #25
    The initiative process in states that have it is an experiment with "direct democracy". It turns out to be a bad idea, despite the occasional successes. People vote for all kinds of mutually contradictory initiatives all the time. Tax cuts. More pay for firefighters. Tax cuts. Longer prison sentences. Tax cuts. Smaller classroom sizes. Tax cuts. It just doesn't work because there is no way a huge number of people can understand all the issues enough to put together a coherent package that works.
     

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