Direct Democracy

Kortnie Horn and Breanna Fraizer

What Is Direct Democracy?

"Pure democracy"

Form of Government in which the people decide policy initiatives directly.

Several thousand citizens met regularly as an assembly to make decisions for their city-state.

Advantages

  • Each citizen has an equal voice in public affairs, and decisions. Once made, had widespread support.
  • Citizens could propose laws and submit them directly to voters in what is known as the initiative process.

Disadvantages

  • Time consuming for citizens.
  • Voter turnout usually low.

The Start Of Direct Democracy

It originated from Athens, Greece. Each citizen had an equal voice in public affairs, and decisions, once made, had widespread support. This form of government was time consuming for citizens. That may be one reason Athenian-style democracy was not widely copied in the ancient world. In the modern world, no country is governed as a pure direct democracy. The country that comes closest is Switzerland. Swiss citizens regularly vote to approve laws passed by their legislature, This form of direct democracy is also known as the referendum process.

Quote

"The legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth; for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution. The citizen should be molded to suit the form of government under which he lives. For each government has a peculiar character which originally formed and which continues to preserve it. The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy."
Author: Aristotle