direct democracy and representative democracy

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Established in Britain since the seventeenth century and promoted by the Enlightenment philosophers in the eighteenth century, representative democracy was also the major focus of the French Revolution, and substituted the absolute monarchy.

In the 21st century, representative democracy following universal suffrage has become widespread enough to be generally perceived as the only form of democracy. It is by far the most common type of political system worldwide.

We, at IDDE, believe that attributes of direct democracy can and should still exist in the framework of a representative democracy. One such example is the use of referenda where voters can directly express their choice on a particular topic.

In certain countries various popular initiatives are put to referendum after citizens gather enough signatures to qualify a subject for parliamentary debate. In federal countries like the United States, Germany, or Switzerland, individual states practise popular initiative referenda. This type of referendum allows citizens to call for a vote on a new law, or contrarily, to repeal an existing one.