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Democracy 101

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    Some people seem to have the wrong idea of what democracy is.

    It is my understanding that in a democracy the majority of votes wins the right to make a decision. Those who disagree with the decision must accept the result but not unconditionally accept it as right: History is full of examples where democracy has gotten it wrong. People should be free to criticise or have reservations about any democratic vote- any infringements upon this would be in fact undemocratic.

    For instance if Farage/ Corbyn became prime minister with a huge mandate that would not mean all of their opponents would be undemocratic for having grave concerns about their character/ policies/ etc but nonetheless regretfully accepting they have a legitimate mandate.

    This works for referendums too. If we decided via referendum to abolish the NHS/ scrap trident it would not entail everyone having to accept that we are automatically entering a golden age of health care or a nuclear free world.

    Both of these arguments would have proponents who would deem the other to have cynical or even unpatriotic arguments- often as a means of shutting down debate and thus negating substantive democratic choice.

    Politicians and individuals are entitled to have differing views over what the 'good' entails- within reason. E.G. Whether or not the welfare state is the best way of dealing with poverty is subjective.
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    I see where you're going with this.

    We voted Remain and lost but we're not suddenly going to love the idea of leaving and become passionate Brexiteers.
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    There are different versions of democracy though. A liberal and a socialist will probably have a different definition of what democracy entails.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    There are different versions of democracy though. A liberal and a socialist will probably have a different definition of what democracy entails.
    They shouldn't do st the most basic level as I illustrated at the beginning. They might disagree to the extent if democracy but not in how it functions.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    There are different versions of democracy though. A liberal and a socialist will probably have a different definition of what democracy entails.
    Plus you can bring a similar argument to negative and positive freedom. If a Democratic decision is made on the basis of lies is it still valid? If an electorate votes for something and are uninformed about the consequences should the result be respected. Simply shouting DEMOCRACY does not make difficult questions go away.

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    are you trying to validate those people who are calling for a *second* referendum? and by that, I mean, a very soon one? which is obviously completely ridiculous, right? I mean, if the leave side lost, you'd *never* see the establishment allowing another one, yet when it's the pro-establishment argument losing, oh look - calls for a fresh new referendum being taken seriously by the bbc...
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    There are different levels of democracy though.

    What we have now is really not very democratic. There is little to no control over individual policies and next to no recourse between elections. States rely on a compromise between giving people some choice and making sure that, as they would say, things get done but in the end any compromise is never going to live up to an absokute democracy.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Plus you can bring a similar argument to negative and positive freedom. If a Democratic decision is made on the basis of lies is it still valid? If an electorate votes for something and are uninformed about the consequences should the result be respected. Simply shouting DEMOCRACY does not make difficult questions go away.

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    I don't believe that referendums should happen, not for important matters. It's why I'd rather live in a representative democracy than a direct democracy.

    It's easier to have an informed parliament or senate than it is an entire electorate. For countries like the UK we're really too big to be direct.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Plus you can bring a similar argument to negative and positive freedom. If a Democratic decision is made on the basis of lies is it still valid? If an electorate votes for something and are uninformed about the consequences should the result be respected. Simply shouting DEMOCRACY does not make difficult questions go away.
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    It's a difficult one and is one of the many flaws of democracy. Virtually all of us are uninformed to some level.

    Lying is far too broad a concept - politics cannot function in this day and age without some degree of lying.

    With the concept of truth, as politics and economics is not exactly a science it could virtually never used to substantiate whether or not a political outcome is legitimate. At least with political parties there is some sort of accountability (see the rough justice meted out to the Lib Dems)

    I agree full heartedly with SHallowvale that referendums are god awful - particularly because as we've seen they leave no one accountable.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    are you trying to validate those people who are calling for a *second* referendum? and by that, I mean, a very soon one? which is obviously completely ridiculous, right? I mean, if the leave side lost, you'd *never* see the establishment allowing another one, yet when it's the pro-establishment argument losing, oh look - calls for a fresh new referendum being taken seriously by the bbc...
    1: why not? If it is as silly as you think it is (and I agree) then they'll be shooting themselves in the foot. But it will be out of principle. You can't have it both ways- they can't be cynical career politicians or people willing to lose their seats standing for something they believe in but their constituents don't?

    2: There would be another referendum if parliament willed the to be one- e.g. If ukip won a significant number of seats.

    3: I have yet to see any example if BBC bias against leaving the EU. The Ukip/ Corbyn loonies are just looking for conspiracy.

    4: The Sun, Telegraph, Mail and the express all backed brexit. Nigel Farage got a QT appearance literally every other week. A third of the cabinet voted out. Oh, and we actually voted Out. If there really was a fifth pillar establishment that brexit would change we'd never have been allowed a vote in the first place.
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    (Original post by SHallowvale)
    I don't believe that referendums should happen, not for important matters. It's why I'd rather live in a representative democracy than a direct democracy.

    It's easier to have an informed parliament or senate than it is an entire electorate. For countries like the UK we're really too big to be direct.
    Would you not want a representative democracy in the place you spend most of your life, the workplace?
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    (Original post by Davij038)

    This works for referendums too. If we decided via referendum to abolish the NHS/ scrap trident it would not entail everyone having to accept that we are automatically entering a golden age of health care or a nuclear free world.
    I think the lesson learned here is that we shouldn't have referendums, especially when the motivation to hold this particular one was driven by a desire of David Cameron to appease his critics in the Tory party.

    We have a system of parliamentary democracy in this country. We elect our representatives on their party's manifesto and we then leave it for them to make the decisions about running our country. Holding referenda left right and centre makes for a very terse black and white job of a world that is 5 million shades of grey.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    Would you not want a representative democracy in the place you spend most of your life, the workplace?
    Are all in favour of a raise and reducing hours? Excellent
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    Democracy is stupid.
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    Democracy is stupid.
    Churchill had the right of it.

    'The best argument against democracy is five minutes with the average voter'
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    Churchill had the right of it.

    'The best argument against democracy is five minutes with the average voter'
    How about we just install a Cromwellian military dictatorship instead?
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    How about we just install a Cromwellian military dictatorship instead?
    Eventually you end up with Richard


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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    How about we just install a Cromwellian military dictatorship instead?
    I don't like the idea if one person having sole power. I'm quite interested in the idea of triumvirates
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    Would you not want a representative democracy in the place you spend most of your life, the workplace?
    Hmm? Sure, why do you ask?
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    Politicians and individuals are entitled to have differing views over what the 'good' entails- within reason. E.G. Whether or not the welfare state is the best way of dealing with poverty is subjective.
    Yes of course. Citizens are entitled to oppose the result, to do everything legally within their power to obstruct the triggering of Article 50, to advocate for a second referendum, to try to get the government to bring an Article 50 trigger bill so they can vote it down, etc. A decision having been made doesn't bind us for all time, and those who opposed it may continue to do all within their power to bring about their favoured outcome. I do believe that members of the government have a political and moral obligation to give effect to the results of the referendum, though.

    But equally, it is within the rights of those who voted Leave to put psychological, moral and political pressure on those who are attempting to prevent the triggering of Article 50. It is within their rights to call Remainers bad losers, to accuse them of failing to respect democracy, of underlining how chaotic and divisive a second referendum would be.

    The stakes of this decision are absolutely enormous; the most important political decision probably since the war. I would be disappointed if both sides didn't do all within their power, legally, to win; if it's as important as they claim, then of course they should.
 
 
 
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