• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Representative democracy is more ideal than direct democracy. Discuss

Free essay example:

I believe that a representative democracy is more ideal than a direct democracy as for starters a representative democracy is better suited to dealing with a large electorate. Direct democracy may work very well among a small group of people, but the larger the group the more difficult it is to run effectively. Representative democracy eliminates this difficulty by operating on a much smaller scale the majority of the time. Also, the complexity of many political issues would make some of them difficult for the average voter to understand. Political issues can be exceptionally complicated and take MPs a lot of time and consultation with experts to fully understand themselves, before they can be considered informed enough to vote. Educating the whole electorate on such issues would be exceptionally difficult for a number of reasons, and if an uninformed electorate were to vote on issues the results could be incredibly damaging. Making it a lot more difficult for a direct democracy to inform citizens on a complicated issue. Another point in favour of representative democracy is that the average individual voter would put his or her needs before those of society as a whole. This self-interest is perfectly natural, but if a law that benefits a smaller group does not benefit a larger group then that law is not likely to be passed. Representative democracy is a lot less work. Most people do not really want to vote all the time on political issues that don't always affect them, or may require a lot of understanding in order to cast a meaningful vote. Switzerland requires about 10 referenda per year. This is the main criticism of direct democracy from people subject to it. Voting for a representative who agrees with you takes less effort, doesn't require you to do anything about issues that don't concern you and does not require you to learn about complex issues. Complex issues can be sorted out by professionals.

However, there are arguments that go against representative democracy such as the Majority of people do not trouble to fully inform themselves on the topics. The complexities of modern government require careful consideration of all the facts available, reports from all sides, scientific and rational analysis, a lack of reaction and a willingness to consider the long term solution and to not put self-interest first. The majority of people do not have the time, or the inclination, to make a rational well considered judgement. Another point is that it is a one party system, it is not the parties that should be making the policy suggestions, it is the people. The party/candidate acts on the voters' behalf, but they rarely takes notice to what the country has to say and generally stick to what they believe. Representative democracy allows the personal agenda of the ruling classes to cloud the agenda of what is right for the citizens of this country.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

(?)
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related AS and A Level Politics Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Assess the advantages of direct and representative democracy

    But despite this, direct democracy has drawbacks in the sense that it's only feasible in small areas and wouldn't work on a national scale as it comprises so much personal interaction to make decisions. What is the use in having a perfectly democratic nation if all matters of public interest

  2. Communism VS Democracy

    They tried to show that the more productive the system became, the more difficult it would be to make it function: The more goods it accumulated, the less use it would have for these goods; the more people it trained, the less it could utilize their talents.

  1. Does democracy bring peace?

    Therefore it must clearly be the shared system of democracy that makes the fundamental difference to whether peace remains or not. However, the theory of "democratic peace" is not universally accepted by students of international relations and is discredited by those who support the theory of international relations known as realism.

  2. Indonesia: Transition and Prospects for Democracy

    Suharto's authoritarian rule lasted 32 years. Massive political pressure, demands for a total reform (Kusumah, 2001), increasing violence and antagonism between Golkar and opposition groups, and the effects of the 1997-8 economic crisis (Suryadinata, 2001) led to Suharto's presidential resignation on 21 May 1998, leaving his vice-president Habibie as the interim president.

  1. Can a plausible case be made for participatory democracy under modern conditions?

    This idea alone is problematic, but it does not even begin to address the problem of how all the citizens of a country can possibly hope to assemble in one place to enter in to such discussions.

  2. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    A closer examination offers a different picture, however (see table 1). Several trends are noteworthy. First, the two parties created specifically to compete in the 1999 election-the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties-gained seats at the expense of most of the older parties.

  1. Advantages of direct and representative democracy

    The people chose who should represent them so they have some say in how the country should be run. Another advantage of Representative democracy is that there are MPs for each constituency, so they will be aware of the issues in the area.

  2. Participation is the essence of democracy Discuss

    However, there are certain referendums and policies that are quite complex and many people will just vote without research or consideration on how it might affect them. Also, it is not a representative of the whole country if only a few people vote just because they understand the policy and the other high percentage donât.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work