CIP and Representative vs Direct Democracy

Forrest ChristianTheory Leave a Comment

I’ll be posting some random, unsubstantiated thoughts after the great PeopleFit course in Raleigh last week.

If CIP is real, then having a representative democracy (like the United States and Canada both do) is superior to direct democracy. The people are capable of choosing the biggest leader, even if he or she is much bigger than they are.

Of course, whether or not that person will represent their interests, especially long-term interests over short-term ones, is based on values, norms and mores. Social capital and all.

Still, it’s an interesting twist that I hadn’t thought of until this weekend. I’ve always been a direct democracy advocate, but I’m beginning to see how representative democracy actually lets more people participate. In DD, all the participants need to be able to make choices that are longer term or more complex. With RD, they only have to be able to choose the better representative.

Yet another reason why DD initiatives like Propositions on the ballot are unlikely to achieve the goals of their proponents, which have included me.

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