In the vast majority of democratic systems, citizens participate in various electoral processes: local, regional and state. After the recount of votes, representatives of the people are elected, who become councilors, deputies and senators. This model is known by one term: representative democracy . Participatory Democracy
For some political scientists and analysts, representative democracy is a deficient and imperfect system , since in practice the representatives of the people distance themselves from the general interests of citizenship. To ameliorate the shortcomings of parliamentary representation, a model in which citizens can participate more actively in politics is proposed . The defended system receives a name: participatory democracy.
The idea of participation can be realized through differentiated mechanisms and processes
Defenders of a participatory democratic model propose a wide range of initiatives: Participatory Democracy
– Popular assemblies open to all citizens where some matter of general interest has been previously discussed. In popular consultations, initiatives that affect the whole of the citizenry are approved or rejected.
– Citizen intervention in state decision-making bodies and administrative structures.
– The possibility for citizens to leave an elected office before the end of their term (this proposal is known as revocation of term).
– Public meetings in which representatives of the people debate directly with citizens. Participatory Democracy
In short, participation mechanisms allow citizens to become more involved in public affairs that affect general interests.
Supporters of this model positively value it, as they understand that it increases levels of transparency and can help combat various forms of corruption ( clientelism , abuse of authority, influence peddling , hidden enrichment, etc.).
The participatory model is not without criticism
Detractors of this system consider it inadequate for several reasons. First, popular assemblies are easily manipulated by demagogues and populists, who can manipulate the people with their rhetorical skill.
Second, they understand that citizens are not adequately trained to make decisions about certain complex issues and, therefore, public management must be in the hands of specialized professionals and technicians. Participatory Democracy