Democracy and Participation

Types of Democracy

Direct Democracy is where everyone who qualifies to vote in a state makes decisions about issues that affect their day to day lives, where the majority vote wins (e.g. Ancient Athens)

BUT in a modern setting this wouldn't work as there are too many people and too many issues which could cause trouble and could potentially cause society to cease working.

Referendums are a modern example of Direct Democracy. They allow the public to vote on one issue at a time with a yes or no answer to a simple question. There has only been one referendum for the whole of the UK in 1975 over the EU (EEC as it was known at the time)

Representative Democracy is based on the theory that it isn’t possible to involve everyone in the decision making process if there is a large and complex society so instead the electorate (people who can vote) choose representatives to make decisions on their behalf, thus allowing society to achieve some democratic characteristics. Representatives are either councillors in Town Halls or MPs in the House of Commons. Representative democracy can be seen as being indirect democracy rather than direct. There are 4 features of representative democracy. These are: Elections, these are the most important feature


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