Op-ed: Brexit and the limits of direct democracy: Reform the referendum

By Tom Ginsburg (with Dawood Ahmed), 1 July 2016
Photo credit: The Corbett Report
Photo credit: The Corbett Report
<div class="content-list-component mt-paragraph text"><p>In Federalist No. 63, James Madison wrote that the defining principle of American democracy, as compared to Athenian democracy, “lies in the total exclusion of the people in their collective capacity.” This was a warning against the dangers of direct democracy - referendums, voter initiatives and the like; Madison was against populist usurpation (by the ballot box) of elected representatives’ responsibility to make decisions on complex issues, with the benefit of parliamentary debate and the ability to negotiate compromises.</p>
Read the full article here: The Huffington Post


Bancki 1 July 2016
A referendum is bluntly 'the majority decides' but democracy is much more : everyone should participate and only if it's necessary to have a quick and clearcut decision now, then 'the majority decides' is the best prcedure. A referedum enriches democracy if initaited from below but not if it's only a gamble of the one on top to quell his opponents on the topic.

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