Indirect Democracy

An indirect democracy can best be described as a form of democracy in which the citizens elect government officials but following this election have little or no input as to governmental decisions made by those officials. Thus government officials are essentially allowed to make all decisions free from any further supervision or review by the people except by another election in which the candidate or official is directly reviewed rather than his decisions. The actual decision making process of government is always left in the hands of the government and thus it is possible the decisions remain in effect long after the government official no longer holds office. This system of democracy is considered to be “indirect” because it is based on a common assumption by the citizen that (1) promises made by the officials during election will, in fact, be the course of action the government will actually follow and (2) that the official who is elected by the citizens will, in the course of his decisions, always reflect the values, desires and goals of those who elected him thus requiring no further supervision by the citizen over his actions and decisions. In order for indirect democracy to work, the government officials therefore must always put their personal values, desires and goals subservient to those of the citizens who elected them. If, as is more and more the case today, the officials do not do this, then indirect democracy fails because the assumptions upon which it is based no longer are effective in controlling government decisions.