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Do democracies work? watch

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    I've just realised this, democracies are really quite a joke.

    What if you agree with half of Labour's policies, and disagree with the other half? And the same with the conservatives? Who do you vote for?

    And what if a party changes its policies to stay in power? Then instead of voting which does the politics, which would eb the case if an unpopular government would not be voted for, the party that doesn't go after votes enough will be thrown out. So we have all the parties meeting at a central point, with the opinion of the "average" voter, trying to appeal to as many people as possible!

    Take an example: if Euro-sceptics decrease in numbers, the conservatives will have two choices: either they can change theyr policies to become more pro-European, and gain more votes, or they can keep the same policies and lose votes. The system is sending the wrong incentives to parties who want to come to power.

    And what about if a party represents an opinion on international trade which is very popular in the country, but can't deal with legal issues at all? The people will vote for the best overall party which does not offer the best individual traits. No one will vote the green party into power unless they know they can competently handle a nation's economy, regardless of the strength of the nation's agreement with their environmental policies.

    So where parties should be putting forward their policies, and people voting based on them, which I think should happen in a democracy, parties are, with one hand, trying to manipulate the economy and foreign affairs etc. to suit their own opinions (Tony Blair, for example, wasn't exactly representative of the country when he went to war), in the other they are trying to keep up their image so they will remain in power for the next elections.

    I think it's a "friendly" dictatorship - parties do what they want in power, but are punished if they displease the voters - which isn't the same as voting in a party that represents your opinion so that they can act on it.

    Debate!
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    They only work very badly. Somebody once stated that a benevolant dictatorship is the ideal form of governance ,wish i could remember who.
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    Sorry, only had time to read this bit
    (Original post by mik1a)
    I've just realised this, democracies are really quite a joke.

    What if you agree with half of Labour's policies, and disagree with the other half? And the same with the conservatives? Who do you vote for?
    I think you should prioritise the issues and decide which are more important/relevant to you - and vote for whoever you believe will deliver the important things. I don't think many people agree with every single policy of the party they vote for.
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    (Original post by Amb1)
    Sorry, only had time to read this bitI think you should prioritise the issues and decide which are more important/relevant to you - and vote for whoever you believe will deliver the important things. I don't think many people agree with every single policy of the party they vote for.
    That is one form of the faliure - the choices that represent everyone's opinions are not in place.

    I will post what I think is a better method in a while once I've given it some thought.
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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    They only work very badly. Somebody once stated that a benevolant dictatorship is the ideal form of governance ,wish i could remember who.
    I have to admit I agree, but in practice it would never work a dictator may start off benevolant but normally doesn't end that bay. BTW I can't remember who said that either, although my mum says it quite a lot!
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    In order to realise the importance of democracy, one could list the countries of the world according to average living standards and then replace every democracy with a D. Most likely your list, starting with the highest living standards, will look something like this:

    D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D... e.t.c.
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    (Original post by an Siarach)
    They only work very badly. Somebody once stated that a benevolant dictatorship is the ideal form of governance ,wish i could remember who.
    The problem with benevolent dictators is that they are like vegetarian wolves: their appetites change when they are tempted.
    Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. It should not be confused with freedom: eighteenth-century oligarchical England was far freer than parts of the democratic USA in the last century, where a democratic majority suppressed unpopular minorities. One of the most important purposes of government is to make a sociaety which the governed like- or accept- living in. Democracy provides feedback on whether the governors are doing this. It also helps to keep theft by the governors within bounds- the prospect of your opponents finding out about your bribes and corruption means they are kept small and concealable.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    The problem with benevolent dictators is that they are like vegetarian wolves: their appetites change when they are tempted.
    Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. It should not be confused with freedom: eighteenth-century oligarchical England was far freer than parts of the democratic USA in the last century, where a democratic majority suppressed unpopular minorities. One of the most important purposes of government is to make a sociaety which the governed like- or accept- living in. Democracy provides feedback on whether the governors are doing this. It also helps to keep theft by the governors within bounds- the prospect of your opponents finding out about your bribes and corruption means they are kept small and concealable.
    Guess I agree with Churchill then. But democracies do have many flaws and are not above corruption - the election of GW Bush being the most obvious example
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    (Original post by parvati)
    Guess I agree with Churchill then. But democracies do have many flaws and are not above corruption - the election of GW Bush being the most obvious example
    Not corruption: a consequence of the way the US constitution is framed. The important thing is that people can look for ways to amend it.
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    If more people took part in democracy, and but that I mean actually reading the parties policies and making your views heard by talking to MPs, councillers etc... I think that I would work better. As it is people take democracy for granted and end up not taking part, then they complain about the policies they don't agree with.

    In the future I think that better forms of government will evolve but for now I think democracy is ok. At least if you have an issue you can speak freely and try to gain power and support o you can do something about it.
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    Yeah I think it's better than other forms, but I still think it's like a huge lumbering dinosaur trying to fight off smaller ones (like the tiny ones that we saw in Jurassic Park 2). Yeah, it's powerful because everyone can vote, and if a party does something drastically wrong they are definately gone, but it can't focus on the smaller aspects.

    It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole - the general size is right, but the corners aren't perfect - people vote for the best party in general, but the party may not fully represent the vote's opinions, a form of faliure of democracy.

    What I would suggest is:

    Firstly, the government is divided into sections - Labour might control healthcare, legal matters and the economy, whereas conservatives might control foreign policy and education (god forbid). When you vote, you vote a party for each section. Say, each section has an unsynchronised time of voting so that there is enough time for debating (programmes such as newsnight wouldn't cope with 15 issues being raised at once). This way, the best parts of each party are picked out, and the lumbering giants can't just aim to please the "average voter" in general, but at least that for specific parts of government duty.
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    Yeah I think it's better than other forms, but I still think it's like a huge lumbering dinosaur trying to fight off smaller ones (like the tiny ones that we saw in Jurassic Park 2). Yeah, it's powerful because everyone can vote, and if a party does something drastically wrong they are definately gone, but it can't focus on the smaller aspects.

    It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole - the general size is right, but the corners aren't perfect - people vote for the best party in general, but the party may not fully represent the vote's opinions, a form of faliure of democracy.

    What I would suggest is:

    Firstly, the government is divided into sections - Labour might control healthcare, legal matters and the economy, whereas conservatives might control foreign policy and education (god forbid). When you vote, you vote a party for each section. Say, each section has an unsynchronised time of voting so that there is enough time for debating (programmes such as newsnight wouldn't cope with 15 issues being raised at once). This way, the best parts of each party are picked out, and the lumbering giants can't just aim to please the "average voter" in general, but at least that for specific parts of government duty.
    I think the problem with that system would be that the party controlling the budget would give money to the sections they controll. That is, if labour controlls the NHS you would see the conservatives taking money from the NHS budget and instead expanding the finances of the conservative controlled infrastructure section.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    I think the problem with that system would be that the party controlling the budget would give money to the sections they controll. That is, if labour controlls the NHS you would see the conservatives taking money from the NHS budget and instead expanding the finances of the conservative controlled infrastructure section.
    Oh yeah, good point. Of course this needs a fair amount of refinement!

    Perhaps the economy is run by a group of people "safe" from being voted out - like a board of high quality economists, that are very (very) strictly monitored. Like the Bank of England setting interest rates.
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    Did you know that, despite the fact that the Labour party hold a vast majority in the House of Commons, only about a quarter of those eligible to vote actually put an 'X' next to labour in the general election?

    Demonstrates the 'democratic' electoral system at work...
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    democracy = ruling by the majority
    dictatorship = ruling by obligation, so not necessarily by the majority

    therefore democracy is what is the best for every situation.
    you're not gonna order chinese if everyone else in the family wants indian for dinner.
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    (Original post by Pumpkinfoodle)
    democracy = ruling by the majority
    dictatorship = ruling by obligation, so not necessarily by the majority

    therefore democracy is what is the best for every situation.
    you're not gonna order chinese if everyone else in the family wants indian for dinner.
    Huf huf huf. Il give you one single name and Il leave it to you to figure out why democracy has some fundamental problems. Das National Socialistiske Arbeider Parti.
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    Politics consists of fulfilling and meeting contradictory aspirations. Many generally agreed goods contradict one another, so it is impossible to achieve them all. So all political activity is going to fail in its aspirations.
    Take a look at the writings of Karl popper and Isiaih Berlin.
 
 
 
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