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“Representative Democracy Is a Muddled Compromise.” Explain and Assess This View

  • Date Submitted: 12/02/2012 09:42 AM
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“Representative democracy is a muddled compromise.” Explain and assess this view

In considering the view that representative democracy is a muddled compromise, there is a broad range of topics to be discussed. This paper discusses the key areas of representative democracy, direct democracy and that of dictatorship.

Representative democracy is a system of government where citizens elect representatives to make decisions for them. This system is present in the United Kingdom, where representatives, i.e. Members of Parliament (MPs), meet in the House of Commons to discuss issues and pass laws. Each MP is elected to represent a small area of the country, called a constituency. The voters in a constituency vote to hand over the decision making to a representative.

A dictatorship is a totalitarian political system that mainly has a dictator ruling a government. It refers to absolute rule that is unbounded by law or other factors such as public opinion. Dictatorships can provide some degree of stability to government as they can make long-term plans safe in the knowledge that no other party will be elected to change things around.

In stark contrast to a dictatorship, a direct democracy is the idea that citizens should be able to vote on all issues. This view believes that the citizens should represent themselves and not have a representative. A majority decision by the citizens would, for example, result in say a law being passed with the support of the majority of the participants. Whilst they accept the decision, they may not of course agree with the outcome.

With all these three systems being available, to consider the argument that representative democracy is a muddled compromise, we need to explore the way in which these systems actually operate in practice.

Taking dictatorship first, one of the main advantages of a dictatorship is that it is very simplistic because only a few people make decisions. These decision makers claim to be in a better...


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