One question I've asked before, is what's considered democratic
So far, I've not found out, because, essentially, at least not in the western civilization, I've not found an example of that perfect Democracy.
Sweden is fairly good, for several reasons. A/ You don't have to be "elite" to get political power (Even if it becomes more and more a question of a career choice, as in.. you start young in politics and then advance in that area, which means we're getting more and more "professional politicians", which have no experience of anything else. The danger of that is that they lose a sense of what other people wants and needs, as well as they're easily corrupted by power and all that comes with that (Which I think was the main problem in former Soviet Union where the politicians became an elite with benefits they denied the rest of the citizens)). B/ All people, except those without a sound mind and ability to take care of themselves, have the possibility of voting. As in, nobody aren't allowed to vote.
The drawback, of course, is that we don't have a direct influence on the choices made. We only vote for a certain political ideology, generally socialistic or capitalistic/right-wing liberalistic, and then the ones elected are off for 4 years doing whatever they want, sort of. There's always possible, of course, to protest against things, and in that way influence decisions, but of course not the simplest thing to achieve.
Obviously, with a narrow margin between the major ideologies, it means that about 50 percent of the people have to live with decisions they've not elected, and, of course, in a certain subject it can go against everything from about 20 to 80 percent of the population, if they had a say in the matter.
Do I think there should be more direct votes, in more subjects, now when it's getting possible technically?
I don't know. That's both a good and bad thing, obviously. The good thing is that it closes in on what I think is true democracy, the bad thing is the fact that: Who say the majority is always right? One good thing with politicians, even if it may take a long time coming to a decision, is the fact that they're there to make sure it doesn't hurt too many, to think about the negative sides of a decision. Which is a good thing, since one heck of a lot of people have a tendency to speak first and think later (if they think at all).
One thing, in my mind, that diminish the importance of elections, and that way undermine democracy is foul play, or the risk of it, which seem to be the case in USA. In both the last presidential elections, there's been a debate over the correctness of the outcome. Something as important as an election, shouldn't be questionable.
There shouldn't be a question of "Correct votes", or not. As in, people having voted even if they're not allowed to. Essentially, even if I understand the reason why they're not allowed to vote, I think every single person should have a vote. In USA, there's several reasons why you're not allowed to vote. As I say, I understand why those sentenced for serious crime shouldn't be able to decide over those who has put them in jail, but at the same time, one could turn it around and say that, if those had a say, it might have caused a society that didn't forced them into a life which ends in jail.
In the 2000 election in Florida, you had a lot of people that should've been allowed to vote not being allowed to, as well as a lot of people that shouldn't have been allowed to, or could (since, for some reason, a lot of deceased people ended up on the lists), was allowed to vote.
In this, last election, it turns out that a lot of the electronic voting machines have been about as fair as the gambling machines in Vegas. Such as counting 4,000 votes in a place where only 800 people lived. The interesting thing, of course, is that everywhere that has been discovered to have happened, the faulty votes have been 90% for the Republican party (not enough to make a difference in the outcome of the general election, which show how easy it is to manipulate the outcome. It would be extremely easy to, say, at the end of the day, just cast the votes on one party or the other for all those that didn't turn up. Say that 1,000 people are allowed to vote. At the end of the day.. only 600 of those have cast their vote. What stops the machine from adding 300 of those missing 400 votes on one party or the other? That would be hard to catch in the first place, and once discovered, extremely tricky to correct without having to do the whole thing again, since any calculations has to be done with statistics and the outcome of the false result.
Obviously, all this has been a question brought to attention in the last Presidential elections since both of those have been close, and down to one or two even states.
Still, what's so complicated? How come there needs to be several weeks or months of questioning after an election in USA?
(I see it coming down to two things. People being open for debate if they're allowed to vote or not, as well as hired companies being the ones handling the election, rather than a it being the issue of a federal institute).
Now, I only know about the way the elections are held in Sweden and USA, but is interested in what's the custom in other countries as well..
As in.. In Sweden everyone is allowed to vote (we're sent a paper with the fact that we're allowed to vote, and in what district we belong to, and if you don't get that, you're obviously able to contact the governmental asking for it), and when voting, we select a printed paper with the name of the party, candidate or whatever, on it, put it in an envelope which is put in a box, as we're ticked off from a list. Once the election is over, the box is open and the envelopes are opened and the various votes are put in piles, one for each party, and then when that's done, the votes are counted. The sorting and counting is handled by the officials, but it's open to the public which make it possible for all parties to send a representative to monitor the process the whole time, demand a re-count etc, if something's questionable. Basically, a representative from a party could look through all the piles and count, once the first sorting and counting is done.