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Is direct democracy superior to representative democracy?
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It ensures that government is representative of the people

Direct democracy is the only way to be truly representative, as people have a direct say in what policies the government implements.
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The Argument

In a direct democracy, the people are the government. They vote directly for the policies that they favour, giving them a level of say in government policy that representative democracy is unable to match. Increased levels of direct democracy also challenge the notion of a political ‘elite’ who are designated to rule in the people's stead, as it is the people, not a parliament or monarch which is considered sovereign.

Counter arguments

Direct democracy has few checks or balances and is based on the notion that the majority of the populace will be right. This democratic absolutism is open to being hijacked by nativist sentiments and ideological extremists, as complicated issues often have to be boiled down for the public into straight forward positions. The recent referendums in the UK on its membership of the European Union and on the question of Scottish Independence have shown that populists are easily able to manipulate direct democratic initiatives and polarise the electorate.


[P1] In a direct democracy system, people have a direct say in the policies the government implements. [P2] Therefore, direct democracy is a superior system.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] This is not a superior system - the average person does not have the expertise necessary to vote on policies.


This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Mar 2020 at 08:52 UTC

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