Direct democracy is the political idea of pure rule of the people. In its purest form, direct democracy consists of all citizens voting on every issue that comes up. But voting on every single issue is quite time consuming for the average citizen. Moreover, this system can only be effective in a small territory having a small population, which allows the citizens to come together and vote. Direct participation of citizens becomes quite problematic indeed if the territory is big and the population isn’t small either.
As such, the most popular form of direct democracy is the so called semi-direct democracy, in which the citizens have a direct say in a part of the legislative process. Citizens vote in referenda to approve or reject certain categories of legal documents (most often national and regional laws and constitutions), yet they also have the ability to initiate the law-making process by submitting a project to the local legislative authority.
Elements of direct democracy can be efficiently adapted to any form of government, be it monarchy or republic.
Many early republics, especially those organized according to a classical model, are generally accepted as having used a system of direct democracy wherein all citizens were able to vote on every issue. However, this was made possible not only by the small size of such early republics but also by the relatively exclusive nature of citizenship. In many such republics, citizens were a slave-owning minority and thus some critics have stated that such republics were not actually direct democracies but aristocracies.
In the modern world, almost no nations are governed by direct democracy in the true sense. However, many nations use elements of direct democracy in their governance. One example of such a semi-direct democracy is present in the Grand Duchy of Tarasovka where the People (the electorate) has a direct say in Grand Ducal (national) as well as Fiefdom (regional) laws. Moreover, the Fiefdoms themselves have a say in referenda on the amendment of the Grand Ducal Constitution. Taraskovyan citizens, as well as the Fiefdoms, have the ability to submit the projects of laws and amendments to the constitution to the Parliament and then to the nation wide referendum on the issue. Some individual principalities in the Resurgent Dream also use elements of direct democracy in their legislation which vary from one principality to another, although no element of direct democracy exists on the national level in that country.
Similarly, in Ariddia, significant elements of direct democracy are merged into a system of representative democracy. The People's Prime Parliament is the legislative branch of government, and any MP may subject a proposal for debate. The proposal is initially submitted to the Council of Secretaries, who may reject it summarily, then, if not rejected, is discussed and voted on by Parliament. The Council must also decide whether the matter is important enough to be submitted to the people. If they deem it sufficiently so, and if Parliament votes in favour of the proposed law, then the law is subsequently submitted to the citizens via referendum. To effectively become law, it must be approved by a 75% majority.
Historically, the strongest champion of direct democracy has been Constantinopolis, the most prominent of the very few nations to completely adopt this method of government. However, because of the effective political monopoly of the left (caused by a lack of any notable support for right-wing parties rather than by law) their political system is dismissed in most capitalist nations.
Though lacking an actual government, The Federated Anarchist Communes and Workers' Collectives of Free Outer Eugenia can be said to operate on direct democratic principles. Whenever a collective decision is made in Free Outer Eugenia, all those immediately affected by it take part in the decision-making process. For example: industrial production plans are made by the workers' collectives who carry them out. Their decision is directly informed by the 'needs projection' submitted by the communes for which they are producing. The production plan must then be approved by an ecoregional congress, which is composed of the individuals and collectives within the project's immediate environmental impact zone. Most decisions are made locally and are consensus-based.
Many political movements in nations which do not practice direct democracy seek to restore some measure of direct democracy or a more deliberative democracy (based on consensus decision-making rather than simple majority rule). Such movements advocate more frequent public votes and referenda on issues, and less of the so-called "rule by politician". Collectively, these movements are referred to as advocating grassroots democracy or consensus democracy, to differentiate it from a simple direct democracy model. Another related movement is community politics which seeks to engage representatives with communities directly.
Electronic direct democracy
Among contemporary direct democracies, the use of computer technology to aid the democratic process is quite common. The traditional town hall setting is often reproduced in a chat room format. This sort of electronic town hall often replaces the people of a given municipality with a group of citizens spread throughout the country who are concerned with a given issue. It is also possible to use electronic voting to allow citizens to vote more easily and more frequently. Constantinopolis takes this trend to its logical extreme, allowing all of its citizens to vote on every legislative issue by using a portable electronic device.