What passes for “democracy” in most of the world is better expressed by the phrase “dictatorial mass representative democracy.” Why? Because through universal suffrage, people are obliged to elect individuals with discretionary powers, which in the ancient Roman republic were called “dictators.” And these individuals are not chosen from within a small “community,” but from a region of several thousand or millions of people. Such a practice I call “mass democracy.”
I consider both dictators and mass democracy to be evils, which should be done away with.
Any country which has an elected President, Governor, or Mayor (of a large city) qualifies as a “dictatorial mass representative democracy.” A lesser dictatorship exists where there is a Prime Minister, elected by a Parliament. Why? Because, as in England, the Prime Minister has to be responsible to Parliament and can easily be dismissed.
Let me compare three countries which can be ranked as the worst to the best of representative mass democracies. These are Ukraine, the United States, and Switzerland.
Ukraine is the worst for the single reason that it is not federated nor well decentralized. Federation means that there are relatively autonomous regions in the country as in the United States, which is divided into semi-autonomous states, counties, and municipalities; or, as in Switzerland, into cantons and municipalities. The states and cantons have their own constitutions, and elect their governors and mayors locally. Ukraine, by contrast, is not constituted by states or cantons, but rather by bureaucratic regions, called Oblasts, governed by governors, who are not elected by the people, but are appointed by the President. The only relative autonomy in Ukraine is exercised on the municipal level by the local election of a mayor and city council. However, the local prosecutor, the police, and the judges are appointed by the national ministries, rather than by the mayor, the council, or by elections. The result: a very centralized dictatorship.
I may add that Ukraine also suffers from a dictatorial judicial system. Instead of a jury of one’s peers, Ukraine uses a single judge to determine guilt or innocence. There is no option for a jury.
All three countries have a parliament. Ukraine has a unicameral one; while the United States and Switzerland have bicameral parliaments.
Of the three mass representative democracies, only Switzerland is not a dictatorship. Why? Because Switzerland does not have an executive branch run by a single individual — a President or a Prime Minister; instead, it has a Federal Council, composed of seven individuals. These are nominated by the four majority parties of the parliament, and elected by the joint bicameral parliament. The Federal Council deliberates and votes in secret, and presents its results as a joint decision. Thus their individual voting patterns are not known to anyone outside the Federal Council itself. It is extremely difficult to bribe or threaten them, unlike the ease of doing so in Ukraine and the United States.
Ukraine — like the United States — elects its President by a national election. However, in Ukraine the President nominates the Prime Minister, four ministry heads, and appoints all the governors. Since the Prime Minister is confirmed by the Parliament, he or she must be acceptable to the ruling party in Parliament. The Prime Minister, in turn, nominates the remaining heads of the ministries. By contrast, in the United States, the President nominates all the cabinet heads, as well as the Supreme Court Justices.
In Switzerland, the seven executives constitute the cabinet, and decide jointly; rather than by dictatorial decisions of a President as in Ukraine and the United States.
I must also mention the peculiarity of Swiss mass democracy which forms a check on their government, that is the mandatory national referendum for altering their constitution, and their optional national initiatives and referendums for challenging or introducing laws. Although the national referendums and initiatives are better to have than not to have, they have the drawback of any mass democracy: they are prone to being swayed by propaganda and mass media which, of course, are controlled by money. Incidentally, that is also the reason why the elected representatives in any parliament tend to be rich or the friends of the rich. It takes money to win mass elections.
One last caveat. All democratic countries of the world are top-down (mass) democracies. A better form of government would be bottom-up democracy consisting of communities of about 150 families forming a nested council democracy, sometimes referred to as anarchism.
Here us a link to a diagram of the Executive Branch of Government of Ukraine