An Argument for Direct Democracy


According to an article the Federalist Papers: No.10, by James Madison, “A society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit no cure for the mischief’s of faction.” I agree with Madison because I believe it is up to the people to make a decision about the outcome of situations not just by a predisposed group or people who are interrogated by a small majority.  That is why I believe it is more preferable to have Direct Government, such as that found in the Initiative Process, where the voter has a direct vote in deciding whether a measure becomes law.

While reading the article I noticed that the same opinion was also stated:  “A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.” This means  if there is a common interest by certain parties or members and it is felt by the majority between them, there is no way to check what bribes or incentives they had to help put on a show to get your votes. The community will have to deal with the consequence of actions made by a certain individual to deter from threats or a hateful person’s feeling toward the inferior individual.

The passage also goes on to state, “Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been in violent deaths.” What is taken from this passage was that by choosing the elected small numbers of people causes disorder, uproar, disagreement, and conflict. Often this results in harmful or disruptive acts to themselves, and their property. Overall this form of democracy ends in their lives and violent deaths as well.  This has been evident and seen in many countries including ours, in governments where people have limited participation.

I believe that  Madison would agree as well as he relayed in the passage, “As each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrage of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.” Meaning, as members are chosen by the majority instead of a few, it will be more difficult for there to be malicious practice in getting members. People who had struggles before would be freer and the candidate chosen would be most likely having the distinction of a reputable person of character. In conclusion I agree with the Initiative Process because it puts the important and underlining topics and subjects back directly in the hands of the public to seek out the most qualified and honorable candidate.

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