Direct democracy is a form of democracy in which people decide policy initiatives directly. This differs from the majority of democracies, which are representative democracies. Direct democracy is similar to, but distinct from, representative democracy, two leading forms of direct democracy are participatory democracy and deliberative democracy. Semi direct democracies in which representatives administer day-to-day governance, but the citizens remain the sovereign, the first two forms—referendums and initiatives—are examples of direct legislation. Compulsory referendum subjects the legislation drafted by political elites to a popular vote. This is the most common form of direct legislation, popular referendum empowers citizens to make a petition that calls existing legislation to a citizens vote. Institutions specify the frame for a valid petition and the number of signatures required. This form of direct democracy effectively grants the voting public a veto on laws adopted by the elected legislature, initiatives may be direct or indirect, With the direct initiative, a successful proposition is placed directly on the ballot to be subject to vote. Such a form of initiative is utilized by Switzerland for constitutional amendments. Power of Recall gives the public the power to elected officials from office before the end of their term. Some of the most important modern thinkers who were inspired by the concept of democracy are Cornelius Castoriadis, Hannah Arendt. The earliest known direct democracy is said to be the Athenian democracy in the 5th century BC, although it was not a democracy, women, foreigners. There were only about 30,000 male citizens, but several thousand of them were active in each year. Modern democracies, being representative, not direct, do not resemble the Athenian system, also relevant to the history of direct democracy is the history of Ancient Rome, specifically the Roman Republic, beginning around 509 BC. Rome displayed many aspects of democracy, both direct and indirect, from the era of Roman monarchy all the way to the collapse of the Roman Empire. As to direct democracy, the ancient Roman Republic had a system of citizen lawmaking, or citizen formulation and passage of law, and a citizen veto of legislature-made law. Many historians mark the end of the Republic with the passage of a law named the Lex Titia,27 November 43 BC, modern-era citizen lawmaking began in the towns of Switzerland in the 13th century. In 1847, the Swiss added the statute referendum to their national constitution and they soon discovered that merely having the power to veto Parliaments laws was not enough
In Switzerland, with no need to register, every citizen receives the ballot papers and information brochure for each vote, and can return it by post. Switzerland has various directly democratic instruments; votes are organised about four times a year.
Practicing direct democracy – voting on Nuit Debout, Place de la République, Paris