Paksas Re-Elected as Party Leader Challenges Democratic System (Updtated)

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Rolandas Paksas, Lithuania’s former President, who was impeached in 2004, and is currently a Member of the European Parliament and the leader of the Order and Justice Party, called today, at his party’s Annual Convention, for Lithuania to abandon representational democracy. Instead, he suggested that Lithuania should be the first country in the world to abolish representative democracy and replace it with ‘direct democracy’. Paksas made his call following re-election as leader of his opposition party. 

Mr. Paksas suggested a return to the origins of democracy as it developed in ancient Athens, when all citizens had an input into government through direct voting, mostly through conventions. However, present day direct democracy would function via the Internet, Paksas believes – “such meetings, of course, would take place not in squares but on-line….. People just need to agree on a day when they go on-line and fulfil their civic duty“.

The disgraced former President is convinced that representational democracy is not functioning properly any longer and is out of date. “Degeneration of representative democracy, as the form of government, was programmed in the egg. It happened when, seeking to limit the powers of monarchs, European countries took over the antique tradition of democracy but renounced the fundamental principle of the Greek democracy – people’s direct participation in decision-making“.

In the course of an interview, Paksas declared: “I had the chance to be Prime Minister two times – I was head of state – and while holding these positions I constantly felt that invisible line no one is allowed to cross, including Prime Ministers and Presidents. You all know what happened when I refused to obey !”.

One thought on “Paksas Re-Elected as Party Leader Challenges Democratic System (Updtated)

  1. The idea of direct voting by the citizens of a country is a terrible idea. People would need a significant amount of time to understand all the detailed issues confronting society, and it would be a full-time job to be informed enough to make rational decisions in an Athens-like direct democracy. If citizens of any country spend most of their time on government matters, who would work on making products and providing services so that the economy can compete in a modern, technological world?

    The problem in Lithuania is not with the democratic institutions – just the fact the Mr. Paksas was removed through democratic means and not by a velvet revolution is extraordinary and speaks highly of Lithuania’s democracy. This proposal by the ex-President is misguided, and ignores the complexities inherent in a 21-st century global world.

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