Wednesday, April 17

Ochlocracy vs. Representative Democracy

As a student in a class entitled "Law and Democracy," taught by one of the foremost legal scholars of democratic institutions, I have had occasion to consider at length the pros and cons of "direct democracy," which usually takes the form of ballot initiatives or popular referenda. On balance, for reasons too complicated to go into here, I have concluded that they are not a good idea (but keep an eye out for such a post in the future). For now, I will let this piece from the Globe and Mail on the B.C. Treaty referendum, which demonstrates a typical problem with referenda, speak for itself.