(or "pure democracy")
Direct democracy is a form of democracy in which all people in a given jurisdiction decide by voting on policy initiatives directly.
In a true direct democracy, such as ancient Athens had (with the notable exception of non-citizens, women and slaves), all the people voted on every law, public policy and issue of justice. In the modern age, NewVote considers it impossible to expect the public to be engaged in every piece of legislation like this. Even in the case of the best modern example of direct democracy on a national level, Switzerland, only 5% of laws are subject to direct democratic involvement.
There is empirical evidence in the US that there is an improvement in the overall quality of human life and subjective happiness correlating to the extent to which direct democratic initiatives are used.
The Australian Election Study found in 2001 that 65% of Australians said referenda were “good”, a further 32% said they were “neither good nor bad” whilst only 2% said that they were “bad”. Unfortunately, the question has not been asked since 2001 so more recent data by a study of this calibre is not available. However, the online direct democracy organisation, MiVote, conducted an online poll of the public in February 2017 and found support for “direct democracy” at 89%, ahead of “referenda” at 66%, “representative electoral voting” at 55% and “plebiscites” at 25%.
To see direct democracy around the world, see the Direct Democracy Navigator.
NewVote and Direct democracy
NewVote considers direct democracy an essential component of our platform.
You can suggest:
an Issue including a “context” explanation which forms the basis of the wiki. A Goal is a broad statement about what should be done which addresses the whole (or part of) the Issue; and
a Goal including a context explanation of how the Solution addresses the whole (or part of) the Issue (which also forms a wiki); and
a Solution, a specific proposal to implement the Goal. They are categorised into Policy, Law, Process or Funding (maybe others?).
You can set your own political agenda in terms of voting for Goals and Solutions you prefer.
With NewVote, Goals and Solutions will permanently be open for voting. The advantages of this are that NewVote:
allows you to change their mind at any time;
reduces the ability for any one section of the Australian community to sway the vote (as there is no cutoff date there will always remain the opportunity for the wider Australian community and opposing sections to counteract the unrepresentative earlier voting results); and
allows everyone to see public sentiment change over time and the reactions citizens have to public debate and specific events.
To ensure that your votes continue to be relevant, we propose that every year from the anniversary of the Goal or Solution being voted on, you will have to renew your vote.