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Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which people decide on policy initiatives directly.This differs from the majority of most currently established democracies, which are representative democracies.In direct democracy, people decide on policies without any intermediary.Depending on the particular system in use, direct democracy might entail passing executive decisions, the use of sortition, making laws, directly electing or dismissing officials, and conducting trials.Two leading forms of direct democracy are participatory democracy and deliberative democracy.Semi-direct democracies in which representatives administer day-to-day governance, but the citizens remain the sovereign, allow for three forms of popular action: referendum (plebiscite), initiative, and recall.The first two forms—referendums and initiatives—are examples of direct legislation.

Popular referendum empowers citizens to make a petition that calls existing legislation to a vote by the citizens.Institutions specify the timeframe for a valid petition and the number of signatures required, and may require signatures from diverse communities to protect minority interests.Power of initiative allows members of the general public to propose specific statutory measures or constitutional reforms to the government and, as with referendums, the vote may be binding or simply advisory.Initiatives may be direct or indirect: With the direct initiative, a successful proposition is placed directly on the ballot to be subject to vote (as exemplified by California's system).With an indirect initiative, a successful proposition is first presented to the legislature for their consideration; however, if no acceptable action is taken after a designated period of time, the proposition moves to direct popular vote.Such a form of indirect initiative is utilized by Switzerland for constitutional amendments.Many residents, especially of smaller cities but even cities like Encinitas, California, with over 60,000 residents, in passing Prop A in 2013, insist on direct resident voting for some decisions.Such measures agree with anarchists, who have long argued against representative democracy.They argue that direct democracy opposes a strong central authority.That is because decision-making power can reside at only one level.A central authority keeps the people themselves from governing themselves.


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