One small in favor of Direct Democracy


I’m not quite sure that I like the idea of a direct democracy. But here is a small thought in favor:

Nancy Goldstein, down at the Washington Post, has a piece about the race for senate in Delaware, where she claims for the underdog. There are two candidates in Delaware. One seems like an experienced, rational, thoughtful, man. The other is a disgruntled, confused, and quite wacky, woman (But, no, this is not a gender issue!). Whom would you choose? Nancy Goldstein chooses the wacky girl, which is the one easier to identify with. The rational man is too arrogant. Too know-it-all. Most of all, he is not in need of your sympathy, so he doesn’t get it. Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party candidate in Delaware, was more human – erring, confused, stressed. It stands in her favor in the debate, though the magic is less likely to actually help her win the race.

This is not new stuff. Those who know ancient Greek history should be reminded of Aristides and Themistocles. The others would do well to recall the surprising success of extreme politics throughout the 20th century. It should also remind you of what happens on shows like American Idol, where professionals have meager chance of winning. It is always the not-so-perfect girl-next-door who wins, seemingly “against all odds” – but very likely because she is not so annoyingly perfect. Or have a look at this fact: poll after poll shows that the Israeli public is mostly moderate, but abhors of moderate politicians. A majority wants good policy, but they want it delivered by flawed politicians.

So, if the public is much better at choosing policies than it is in choosing policy-makers, then perhaps, if we let the public choose the policies instead of the policy makers, we will enjoy better policies.

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10 thoughts on “One small in favor of Direct Democracy

  1. טל ירון

    וואו 🙂

    אני מניח שזה לא יפתיע אותך שאני תומך בעמדתך בנקודה זאת 🙂

    מחקרים רבים מראים כי דמוקרטיה ישירה היא מתונה הרבה יותר, ופועלת על פי קונצנזוס. היא גם מקבלת יותר מיעוטים ומאפשרת להם להשתלב טוב יותר בחברה, ולהרגיש בקלות יותר שייכים.

    בעוד פוליטקה יצוגית, נוטה להקצנה ופלגנות. זאת כיוון שהנציגים חייבים לבדל את עצמם מאחרים ולתקוף אחרים, כדי למשוך יותר תשומת לב ציבורית. אני חושב שחלק גדול מהמלחמות הפנימיות שלנו, נובעות מדמוקרטיית נציגים.

    ראה כאן פוסט שלי על שילוב המיעוטים:
    http://www.talyaron.com/2010/07/26/minority-and-dd-positive-effect/

    Reply
  2. mousomer Post author

    טל, גם לוב היא (וברה”מ היתה) דמוקרטיה ישירה.
    הביקורת העיקרית שלי היא זו: בדמוקרטיה, המבנה חשוב יותר מהתוכן. אולי מוטב לומר שהמבנה הוא התוכן. דמוקרטיה ישירה יכולה להיות אסון והיא יכולה להיות דבר נפלא. השאלה היא איך המנגנונים עובדים.

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