The following is an outline of ideas I’ve had running through my head. I’d like to be able to go into more detail in each section, but for now I think it is important to try to get things organized.
Flaws of Representative Democracy
1. Individual Level: Conflicts of interest of elected officials
a. Low election turnouts => little accountability
b. Emphasis on getting re-elected
i. Examine how the offices of elected officials are run, campaigns, etc.
ii. Look at distribution of resources and time
iii. How much on elections vs. how much on issues
c. Influence of interest groups and big business- bring up and explore ideas about the “Tyranny of the Minority”
2. Structural Level: Tragedy of Commons
a. Even if there were no problems at the level of the individual, there would still be structural problems
b. Issues which are prone to this type of problem
i. Environment and energy
ii. Food and drugs
Eventually I hope to include a section on possible solutions, but I need to investigate these issues further before coming to any conclusions. I must say, however, that I think one area for improvement is the education system.