Some propose to extend democracy radically throughout society, ignoring evidence of its feasible and practical limits. The failure of extended democracy could lead to an anti-democratic reaction. The is also the danger of the tyranny of majorities over minorities. The severe limitations of direct democracy are illustrated by the Five Star Movement in Italy. The view that democracy should be a machine to express individual preferences is rejected. Studies have revealed the limitations of deliberative democracy and citizens’ assemblies. The are costs and benefits - both functional and moral - for a citizen to vote. While the moral benefits of duty or virtuous citizenship can outweigh the net functional costs of voting, the moral costs of becoming adequately informed on key issues are huge. There is strong evidence that some participation in workplace decision making can be beneficial. The benefits of representative democracy are outlined. Proposals to extend democracy should be evidence-based.
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