How can I, even in a small way, fight against politicians who vote for the growth of their own wage or their corruption? It seems we're in a well organized society and that everybody is being represented, but I doubt that the majority of people agree that the politicians should have the power to vote in their own wage.

I live in São Paulo state of Brazil, if it concerns.

  • 1
    majority of people agree that the politicians should have the power to vote in their own wage. If not the elected officials then who? At least, if you do not like their raises, you can elect them out of position. I personally support elected officials having a good salary. The alternative would be leaving public office to those that can support themselves with their wealth (rich people) or who plan to support themselves from "irregular" income, mixed with a few idealists.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 16:54
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    And to the nucleus of your question, usually it is well understood that there is a range of options, from simply voting people who are against raises to present yourself in a platform to forbid those raises, with a lot options in the middle (bumper sticker, trying to convince people, showing up at rallies/events, organizing rallies/events...) Google for "political or social activism" and you will get thousands of examples. Are you searching for something else?
    – SJuan76
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 16:59
  • Your second comment answer very well my question, and if I would resume it it would be "besides your vote you can change things by political or social activism" and the way I understand it's practiced by a lot of people walking in the streets with posters showing the politicians and the rest of people their opinion. It can be effective sometimes like what happened in São Paulo, Brazil about the raise of the bus ticket price (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_protests_in_Brazil), but one needs to be very motivated to act like this considering it can be even violent.
    – Jp_
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 17:22
  • But ideally what I would want is a place where I can, optionally, can vote and say "I don't agree with this" and with my vote having a fair weight and along with a lot of other people that thinks like me would avoid some non sense things that happens. I understand that this might be utopic, but what I want is the nearest action that I can do.
    – Jp_
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 17:26
  • @Jp_ Some democracies actually have mechanisms like citizen referendums which allow citizens to propose legislations and public votes about them. But this is a tool of a direct democracy. Most countries are representative democracies where people don't make decisions but only decide who decides for them.
    – Philipp
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The only direct influence you have in a representative democracy is your vote. When a politician makes decisions you don't agree with, don't vote for them. However, when a certain issue is very important for you, you can also try to influence the voting decisions of others. In a representative democracy, power depends on public approval, so politicians need to be concerned about those issues which appear important to public opinion.

Use can use your freedom of speech rights to:

  • Publicly criticize politicians who make decisions you don't agree with.
  • Before the next election, urge politicians and parties to make public statements in matters which are important to you.
  • Publicize these statements and urge voters to make their voting decision dependent on these.
  • Publicly criticize those who break their promises after election.

You can also use your right to freedom of association to form a non-governmental organization (NGO) concerned with a specific issue and ask as many people as you can to join it. NGOs with many members have more credibility than private people, so their speech can more easily reach a larger audience, which might motivate the media to relay an NGOs statements to their audience.

You can use your freedom of assembly to organize a peaceful(!) public protest against government decisions to call more attention to issues you consider important.

And last but not least, you can run for a public office yourself and promise to make everything better than the current office holder(s).

Warning: This question is about a democratic society. An ideal democratic society permits and protects the rights mentioned above, but not all countries which call themselves democratic are ideal democracies. I do not know much about Brazilian law, so I do not know in which way it limits the freedoms mentioned above. Also note that the human rights situation in Brazil is not very good, which might make it unsafe to exercise your democratic rights, even when within the boundaries of law.

  • Although your answer is well written, it suffers from being a bit too abstract. Since it's so abstract and so academic, I don't feel as though it's that useful for someone who is actually seeking to make a difference in their local or national politics. Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 17:32

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