Direct democracy cannot work for the simple reason that someone has to decide which referendum to hold, when, and on what precise question. These calls have to be made by some representatives of the people. Which brings us back to the challenges of selecting them and checking their abuses. So while making decisions via referenda seems more democratic, it only weakens democracies by allowing representatives to shirk responsibility. As is the case with Brexit.

Here’s Peter Singer, the world’s leading ethicist, weighing in on the side of representative democracy…

Peter Singer is Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Ethics of What We Eat (with Jim Mason), and Rethinking Life and Death.

Representative Democracy Better than Direct

Advertisements