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Is Democracy dead?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Event_Horizon, Feb 14, 2014.

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  1. Event_Horizon

    Event_Horizon SF Supporter

    By this I mean that you as an electorate do not feel at all represented, heard and that ultimately your vote is pointless. In some cases it is so pointless you don't vote at all because why bother when they lie and the system is corrupt?

    Do any of you feel that the system is not corrupt or it is partially corrupt but not beyond salvaging?

    What are your reasons for believing democracy is dead? What is the strongest evidence you have that supports that democracy in what ever country you reside in is dead or undermined or soon to be dead?

    Finally if you believe democracy is not dead what evidence of that do you have that does not resort to comparisons of other countries that simply have it worse?
  2. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    Adam, I cannot answer the questions. But what I can say is that many years ago a very wise teacher said something I will never forget. I asked him when things are going to change. His answer was this: "when human beings stop giving their power away. Because people who want to your power will not do things that benefit humankind.

    I think it is up to each one of us to take our power back. That means making sure our voice and vote are heard. This means speaking out and joining in. It means volunteering for what we do want to see change. When enough of us do this, from our heart....without anger or hate, this is when the light will be more prominent than the shadows. And those in false power will no longer have power to cause great harm. This is what I believe.
  3. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    Obviously some systems are corrupt Adam as much as some systems are less so - Corrupt systems which come to mind include those in states such as those in places such as Africa where foreign aid is stolen by the government
  4. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    I live in an area where church-going Pacific Islanders compose a large percentage of the population, indeed our MP has this heritage himself. The vast majority of Pacific Island people attend church on a regular basis and believe in God. And yet, when the SSM bill was debated the local MP who is meant to represent his electorate voted it in - despite many pleas from those who disagreed that it should pass. It was steam-rollered in, proving to me that to think we have a democracy here is a huge fantasy.
  5. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    First to address is the question of what is a democracy. The fact is there is not a true democracy in existence because it would be unwieldy at best - in the US as well as most of the world we use a delagative model of democracy. This means that as the public, we vote on very few items, instead we elect delegates to vote on out behalf. There are 2 reasons for this -
    1. Having a vote for every question or policy would be nearly impossible. It takes weeks or months to set up a national or even state level vote. Most places vote only 2x a year so that means there would be only 2 opportunities a year to pass or repeal any decisions. As slow as our government is , they still manage to address things more than 2x a year.
    2. It was foreseen and still is true that many people are too uninformed or stupid to understand many things. This is made clear every time you open a newspaper or internet and read the comments people leave, as well as watch the news and hear the sound bite interviews they do with people on the street. In fairness, in the US where legislation is often 100's of pages long even politicians with no other job ans a whole staff to help them read and interpret the legislation we hear every day "that was an unforeseen consequence of that legislation". If with nothing to do but read and study the proposals they cannot manage a reasonable understanding then it is a little too high a bar to expect the average person working 40 hours a week and taking care of family and life in general to read and fully understand them to make an informed decision. This still ignores the very real problem that even if they understand them to best of their ability, some people simply are not able to comprehend the true consequences or meaning. Without a better more polite way of saying it, since there is not "test" for voting, many people that vote can barely read, did not complete high school, and the Simpson's is a strain on their comprehension. This made it so the natural result was everybody can vote but what we really vote for is somebody we trust to make decisions better than than average person.

    The next major issue is whether we would actually want or if we believe in democracy. In most cases, the answer to that would actually be a "no". In true democracy every person would have 1 vote and whatever the majority chose is what would be the law. While this sounds very reasonable on face value, you really need to think about this a little deeper. The larger the geographic area being discussed, the less likely are you to believe this to be a good idea. In addition, democracy embraces concepts of injustice and public prejudice. History is rife with examples of why democracy does not equate to fairness or justice. The most obvious would be slavery in the US where it was supported by the "majority" but is clearly not just or or fair and that continues on to this day in many segments. While the supporters of gay rights may be more vocal, it has failed in the majority of districts where an actual vote takes place. My opinion that gay rights is a ridiculous term since we are only talking about basic human rights in reality so it should be plain that gay rights need to be included in that does not work in a democratic vote in may areas. If we expand that to worldwide vote it certainly would not pass, and Christianity would be outlawed as well on a worldwide vote as it is far and away the minority so both the sides "arguing" in the US would lose completely. The fact is, most people only believe in democracy when it is reduced to their own small group that holds similar ideas and values - as soon as it is expanded to a larger area or group and includes others that disagree with us we stop talking about democracy and start throwing around terms like justice and fairness.

    Delegating our votes leads to as many problems as it solves. While electing people with time and in theory background to represent us fairly seems a good idea, what it means is that businesses and lobbying groups no longer need to convince millions of people that they are right, they need to convince simply a few hundred. This same process works in all areas of government. We make oversight committees to to protect us from business or special interests , but that simply results in the business or special interest only having to convince a small gropu of people on a committee that is a good idea rather than the government as a whole, much less the entire public. The federal reserve bank was an oversight committee made to protect people from banks, but resulted in a small group of people controlling the monetary policy of the entire US so all big banks and business need to do is avoid conflict with a very small group of people to have free reign. This is the end result of virtually every government committee or oversight process - we take the power of millions, put in the hands of very few, and then wonder why corruption gets worse rather than better. Our answer? Put another government oversight agency to further consolidate that power so there are even fewer people to make the ultimate decision..... And the best part? All of these government workers are appointed or hired, not elected. So the true decision making power is not by those elected, but rather by those appointed by the ones we elected. They in turn ensure that the people that appointed them are protected from any fallout from their decisions (it is the least they can do for the people that invented a job with enormous power and gave it to them). Then of course we elect people based on political prowess as opposed to experience. When we talk about job experience for politicians why do we care about other political offices? That simply means they have successfully managed to get elected many times. We "hire" (elect) politicians to fix the economy and to increase jobs, but we do not look at business people and people with years of history in commerce, we instead look at lawyers that never had a legal practice but that were on a town board or local government, they messed up the local government, and we claim they are experienced and hire them to a higher office. The simple fact is the cream of the crop economists and business people would never consider government service because it does not pay near well enough to make sense, so we are electing people that are not successful in the private sector to make the laws that are supposed to make the private sector more efficient, fair, and productive to make jobs for all of us. Then these people with no practical experience themselves get to appoint their friends (that you can figure to be no smarter or successful in the real world) to the positions of authority in the government to make decisions and pas regulations controlling all the other businesses and people.

    In summary , true democracy does not exist, in our version of democracy we prove our inability to make decisions that makes a delegative democracy necessary by electing people completely unqualified for the job we want them to do, and when they do not do that job well, we demand they "do something about it" so they form a an oversight committee and appoint people they like that will look out for them to make more decisions for us. Then we pay all of these unqualified people well and supply them with pensions and benefits, as well as all of their friends they appointed, and to show them out appreciation we elect them to a higher office based on their experience at having screwed us at a lower level. We get exactly what we deserve.
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