Following are my arguments for a direct democracy, or perhaps a watered down version while transferring to in in some degree.
I believe that as a direct democracy gains teeth (for there should be a slow, transitional period), average Joe will become more interested in current events. To vote only once every four years when most politicians seem like a bunch of liars who never fulfill any of their campaign promises, no wonder so many voters feel disenfranchised. No wonder only 60% of voters actually show up at the booth. And it seems that those who do make the effort usually always vote along ideological lines they would rarely cross, so the idea of our present democracy because somewhat of a farcical joke.
But if average Joe feels more empowered, I am sure s/he will become more interested, engaged, and as a result more informed in their decisions. And what is the harm of people discussing such important matters, as opposed to letting themselves be distracted by sports competitions, television, facebook and other such useless nonsense? As the ancient Greeks proclaimed, "dissidence is the foundation of democracy". The average citizen back then could gather in the city's square to discuss certain issues. But today, with the internet, it is so much easier to engage in discussion and one does not have to live in the big city with enough free time to meet in the central square.
What concerns "mob mentality", sure, the big corporations could hire their goons and trolls to flood social media outlets with their take on matters, but I believe it would be more costly and difficult to sway the masses than to thickly line the pockets of a few politicians, or threaten them in some way.
And if average Joe actually does start to feel empowered and become engaged in discussion, that will only make him more informed, which can only be a good thing.
During the transition process, seeing discussion is only a good thing, the referendum votes need not be heeded, but should at least be acknowledged. A debate could ensue amongst the elected and supposedly educated representatives as to how to deal with the public vote. Ideas could pass back and forth between the public and elected officials and law makers. Such discussions can only be a good thing and everything should be out in the open. So those who proclaim a faith in a republic and the educated elected, can at least acknowledge that involving the general public in discussions must be a good thing.
Here's an interesting article with Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal and who is now involved in some very futuristic projects, on how he thinks the political system on Mars would develop:
https://www.recode.net/2016/6/3/1185214 ... -democracy
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