Direct Democracy, examples.

In Wales and Britain we have grown used to the idea that democracy means 'representative democracy' but the systems we have are neither representative or democratic. Every four or five years we get to choose a government but the policies that the government pursues are those the members of the political parties want. In a real democracy we, the people of Wales would be able to initiate legislation and vote on our own proposals.

This is a prospect that some of us would find daunting. Surely it would lead to chaos? It doesn't and there are examples of direct democracy working, and working well. With a population of around 8 million Switzerland is one of the wealthiest, most democratic, least violent, healthiest and happiest countries in the world. Direct democracy has been embedded in Swiss politics for 150 years and in some Cantons for over 700 years. The system is also used in several states in the U.S.A. We are not suggesting that we should just transplant the Swiss or American systems into Britain but by examining the benefits and the problems that can arise where it is used we can begin to develop ideas on how we could use the initiative and referendum system here in Wales.