Democracy - a failed experiment.

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Conceptually democracy is fit for purpose; but not when it's purposefully undermined and twisted. The largest issue being voter manipulation most overtly through spin and propaganda, but also much more insideously through mechanisms put in place by the ruling elite to control voter behaviour and sentiment - division, distraction, de-education...

As much as I hate people I think it's doing them a disservice to malign their behaviour simply as "stupid", when in fact they've mostly been conditioned throughout their lives to vote as instructed. Public education teaches subservience and faith in a loaded system, higher education is restricted to those who can afford it (and with an interest in maintaining the status quo), media is used to spread misinformation, sow division and provide distraction from the actual issues of importance.

Democracy works fine in a society of informed and empowered individuals; unfortunately such societies make it harder for the ruling elite to exploit their citizens in pursuit of their own agendas, so in some parts of the world (including ours) government policy reflects the establishment desire to dumb-down and neuter their populations.

Of course a "fit to vote" test would probably be a god-send for dodgy governments like ours as it would provide a simple means by which to justify exclusion of those who'd vote against them.. and raises the almost-impossible question of who decides who gets to vote..?
 

pjd57

Veteran
Location
Glasgow
We have a political class / elite who regardless of how we vote remain in power.
The two big UK parties are totally dominated by career politicians who seek self advancement above everything else.

First past the post maintains the present status quo at Westminster.
Hopefully , we in Scotland can break out of this , which in turn should be the start of a better system of government for England and Wales and also lead to an Irish unity referendum.
 

MntnMan62

Well-Known Member
Location
Northern NJ
I'll say that democracy is not perfect. I don't think any form of government is perfect. The general issue is either you place way too much authority in the hands of a few, leading to corruption, or you place way too much confidence in the stupid public to make smart decisions. Smart decisions are just not in the perview of stupid people. But does that mean we should go to some form of authoritarian regime? I'll agree with your statement that democracy is a failure if drumpf is re-elected. But if he loses, then I'll at least feel there may be hope for the future.
 

Goggs

Veteran
First past the post maintains the present status quo at Westminster.
Hopefully , we in Scotland can break out of this , which in turn should be the start of a better system of government for England and Wales and also lead to an Irish unity referendum.
Only if you're prepared to vote ISP on your second vote. Maybe.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
I'm surprised this thread has got as far as it has without Winston Churchill's famous quote turning up - that democracy is the worst possible system of government, apart from all the others.
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
It’s probably the voting systems that need revision.
Trump won a 2 horse race with fewer votes.
The Tories get a huge majority on a 40% vote.

Is this democratic?
I think this is it. Proportional voting, where the the party of the people in parliament represent, as closely as possible the %age of votes cast nationally for the parties, would mean constant coalition government. As the make up the government at any one time, will be a coalition of different parties, some of which will be hopeful of getting into the next coalition after the next election they will need to ensure that no short term (vote winning) decisions are made near the end of a parliamentary tenure that, while popular with voters now, will cause damage to the UK of some sort in the longer term, are made.

It worked out that way post WWII in West Germany, and has carried over into the reunited Germany. Yes it will cause problems now and again, mainly in the post election scramble to form a coalition. However I feel the good will out-weigh the bad.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Democracy is the best of a bad bunch but fails when the electorate is under educated, when the electorate have unbreakable and irrational affiliation to clans, where the electorate is ethnically divided on numerically equal lines, when one or more parties field militias, and where the electorate is not subject to general taxation.
 
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