Is Representative Democracy truly representative?

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  1. profile image0
    pburgerposted 8 years ago

    If a representative is an advocate for another person's policy or purpose, and non-independent members of a parliament represent a political party, do they in fact represent their constituents?

    If the majority of politicians are 'straight' middle-class, middle-aged, and married how can they represent the interests of single, young, straight, gay, and lesbian constituents?

    Or is it the case that politicians steal the voice of their constituents, ignore the needs and concerns of the majority, and impose their own point-of-view?

    1. profile image0
      eternaltreasuresposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      politics is one of the topics that I don't want to talk about, I have had enough from politicians who promised lots of things and nothing or minimal is done about their sweet words of promises

      1. profile image0
        pburgerposted 8 years agoin reply to this


        Surely, your implicit withdrawal from politics simply allows politicians to continuing ignoring you and your interests?

        Surely one way to excise the political rot is to engage in public debate, to be an active agent of social change?

      2. rhamson profile image74
        rhamsonposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        It is very simple.  You stop, they win.  Or you can apply to it, they have their way.

  2. JON EWALL profile image76
    JON EWALLposted 8 years ago


    The foundation of Democracy in the United States is our Constitution.
    The Constitution has been under attack by political parties to want changes that would require congress and the states to ratify. The 3 branches of our government ,Legislative, Judicial and Executive, create a system with checks and balances.

    The system protects minorities as well as majorities in making laws and legislation.

    Majority in most cases rules when it comes to voting. Certain types of legislation require a 2/3s vote on important legislation to pass.

    The people elect their representatives, sometime the elected representatives do not do the work of the people.

    Our politicians proclaim '' We are a nation of the rule of law ''.They sometimes forget that the law includes all citizens without exclusions.
    ''Equal Justice for all '' not '' Social Justice for all''

    1. profile image0
      pburgerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Jon Ewall

      Yes, in theory, and via rhetoric, what you say is the ideal of representative democracy.

      however, I would say governments now conceive themselves in the Fascist mode - that is, as a corporate body.

      The person who first put this political notion into practice, in the 1920s-40s, was Benito Mussolini the leader of the Fascist Party of Italy.

      The result being that the different interests of the various communities that make-up a pluralist society become conflated as one grand narrative 'We are one nation'.

      Thus, IMO, our politicians ignore the various class interests that exist in Western societies... And that is not representative democracy; representative democracy acknowledges the different interests of the various social classes that make a society. Therefore, while our political system espouses the rhetoric of representative democracy, in practice we have a very different form of politics...

      Is this a reasonable claim?

  3. profile image61
    logic,commonsenseposted 8 years ago

    Politicians these days generally do not represent the majority view of their constituents.  They are influenced too greatly by lobbyists and special interest groups that scream at them.  Where have all the statesmen gone?  What happened to the citizen that served for a short time and then went back home to the farm or business?  It should be a duty to serve for a time and then let someone else do it. Not make a life long career out of it.

    1. profile image0
      pburgerposted 8 years agoin reply to this


      i recognize the point you make about career-politicians, but do not understand, in our modern world of diverse communities, how 'duty to serve for a [limited] time' will overcome the lack of genuine representation.

      If someone is duty-bound to serve for a term then perhaps that person will use that time to advance their own interests?

      Perhaps the problem lies in the vision of representative democracy? The origins of the concept lie in the sharing of power between two social classes, and, what is more, to the exclusion of all other social classes. The first theorists of the concept did not include women, children, minorities, slaves, people without property...they had a very exclusive vision.

      Would this change if we compelled people to serve a term in politics? And how would we decide who serves in what the upper and lower houses?

      Perhaps, we need to rethink the whole concept?


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