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Old 01-13-2004, 04:29 PM   #1
The_One
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Arrow Is democracy dying?

Democracy. That system of government we've all come to love. But, is it on its way out?

It occured to me in the wake of events over the last year or so, that democracy may be dying, or even dead. Indeed, when you start to contemplate the idea further, there is little democracy left - and it's surprisingly easy to argue a case supporting the claim that the ethos is dead.

Literally, by Greek definition democracy means "people power". To be fair, only the Greeks ever implemented a system of democracy that came right out of that definition. A system of direct democracy has never been seen in any liberal democracy of modern times. Which leads me on to my next pondering...

We all (well, most of the members here) live in representative democracies - whereby you elect politicians into office to represent your views in a legislature, and take decisions on your behalf. But, ask yourself this: if those decisions contradict what the mass of the electorate think, is that at all democratic? Should that be the nature of representative democracy? I think not. This has been exemplified over the last year more than ever - in particular the UK, with a government using its mandate to justify the implementation of highly controversial policies, opposed by large numbers of people.

Then, you need only look a little deeper into the UK's political system to find massive problems with the electoral system, which elects governments not supported by a majority of the electorate - well, no way near. On top of that, there are millions of wasted votes, with many people not represented at all, just because they happen to live in a "safe" area. Then, turn towards the other big "democratic model", the USA, and you'll find that the man who won the 2000 election is not actually the President. Bummer. And then, you have States constantly gerrymandering constituencies to work to their own political advantage. When you take a look at the turnout for elections around the Western, liberal world you'll find they are very low. Is this not a reflection on the fact that there is little the voters can do to change anything?

There are far more examples you can find that illustrate the death of democracy as we know it, but that leads me on to a very interesting question...

Did democracy ever exist, truthfully, in the first place?

I don't think it did. I see it in (and bear with me here) a similar light to Communism - with regard to the fact it has been tried, but never implemented successfully. It just so happened that millions of people died, for no reason, in the name of Communism, and therefore Communism was seen as a "bad thing". I see democracy as having been just as unsuccessful, and what we have now is bearly democratic. It's only now, after Iraq, that many people have died (for what many people see as no good reason) in the name of democracy, and "freedom". Now, "democracy" is getting a bad name, and people are just beginning to wake up to that fact.

What are your opinions on this?



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