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    In your opinion, is democracy absolute? That is, should the will of the people always be followed, or in some cases should government overule popular will because "they know best"?

    In my opinion, there are some issues that the public is not particularly well informed on and their view on it would perhaps thus be less well reasoned than an expert (or at least someone who had looked into the subject), wherever that expert's political leanings lie. For me, one such issue is the EU Constitution - it seems that every time the referendum is mentioned on the news it is accompanied by members of the public complaining that "we haven't been given enough information about the constitution". When people decide not to go to the effort to reasearching the document (as many good guides are availiable, for example on the BBC website), are they really qualified to vote on a document that they do not fully understand. On an issue like this, they are likely to be swung by the political parties, each offering up the points that suit their policies only.

    In short, should the British public be expected to defer to government under any circumstances?
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    In times of War I think there is certainly a case to make decisions amongst the minority for the majority
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    The problem with the example you give- the proposed constitution of the EU- is that it is so large and complex and varies from one language to another so that many self-proclaimed experts disagree about what it means too.
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    Are you a wee bit fascist, WeeJimmie? You seem to harbour some very right-wing views...

    I do as well.. Democracy sucks.. We need to overhaul our thinking on all of this kind of stuff and create a new way forward..

    Ireland needs to unite, the EU needs to unite and the whole world needs to unite..

    I wonder if the whole nation/statehood concept would vanish in such a senario..? If so, I postulate that democracy would spontaneously disintegrate and we would get something more fundamentally good for the people.. Maybe it'd be your fourth Reich, maybe it'd be a truely Communist state, who knows? All I know is that democracy doesn't work!
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    Hey,
    I agree, democracy (as in our democracy right now) is not always a good idea. More people need to research for our ''democracy'' to be truely democratic!
    In referenda, such as the one you alluded to, the public is not informed enough to make the decisions in question and it may be preferable for experts to make the decisions (despite problems of bias) and maintain parliamentary soveriegnty.
    My ''no votes for plebs'' thread is built around this conclusion, you might like to look at it and suggest a few ideas to resolve this problem.

    M x
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    Whilst i agree that democracy doesn't work in this day and age because there are situations where it falls down, i think that sometimes there must be more of an effort to make people less apathetic and more informed about issues that concern them. For example, Mr Blair has yet to present me with any facts about the EU constitution, and it would be nice. If i was more informed, i would not need to submit to government.

    Another viewpoint, converesely, could be that we do not submit to government because we are all represented (well the majority are) in the HoC and so any decision made by those in the HoP is representitive of us all, since well elected them It is almost like decision making by proxy.
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    (Original post by polthegael)
    Are you a wee bit fascist, WeeJimmie? You seem to harbour some very right-wing views...
    EH? Such as?
    Magicalsausage cited the proposed EU constitution as a subject where the general public is ignorant and does not understand what it contains, so they think we ought to leave it to experts. I pointed out that the experts all disagree about it too- by implication I don't think their opinions are any better than those of the ignorant general public. I agree with Lord Melbourne "All the wise men said one thing and all the damned fools said another. What all the wise men said has not happened and what all the damned fools said has come to pass."
    I do as well.. Democracy sucks.. We need to overhaul our thinking on all of this kind of stuff and create a new way forward..
    As Karl Popper showed, democracy has virtues that the supposedly wiser dictatorships lacked.
    Ireland needs to unite, the EU needs to unite and the whole world needs to unite..
    Needs? What is needed is for people to put up with one another's defects and recognise their own and stop being so worked up about it. Ireland does not need to unite- it needs a period of tedium so everybody can calm down. When no-one cares whether Ireland is united or not, but it'll be less bother if it does unite, that's the right time to unite. Ditto. Ditto

    I wonder if the whole nation/statehood concept would vanish in such a senario..? If so, I postulate that democracy would spontaneously disintegrate and we would get something more fundamentally good for the people.. Maybe it'd be your fourth Reich, maybe it'd be a truely Communist state, who knows? All I know is that democracy doesn't work!
    Do you perhaps mean that democracy hasn't supplied what you think is good? It appears to not work better than all of the other systems so far tried.
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    (Original post by Mineko)
    Hey,
    In referenda, such as the one you alluded to, the public is not informed enough to make the decisions in question and it may be preferable for experts to make the decisions (despite problems of bias) and maintain parliamentary soveriegnty.
    i agree, the tabloids, seem to print crap off depending on what they want people to do.

    most notably the sun, who were telling people what was in the EU constitution before it had even been drafted, and even though they have been proven wrong there has been nothing on the scale of what they were publishing to tell people that they had made up all these lies about the constitution, so many people still believe it to be fact.
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    Do you think democracy is the best way to rule a country? I mean, ok freedom of speech, and every person's opinion should count, but isnt this idealistic? How many people know the political issues home and abroad, and these are the people who are relied upon by the parties to vote. These votes are meaningless, and vulnerable to tabloids such as the sun or daily mirror to influence them. When Blair was first elected Prime Minister, it was the backing of the Sun that guranteed him this position. So in that sense democracy isnt the best option. Does this mean only clued up people should vote? Well yeah, those who can act in the best interest of the country, not just because of a temporary popularity contest. There should be exposure of the political issues that concern us in schools aswell as in other aspects of everydaylife.
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    (Original post by JnA)
    Do you think democracy is the best way to rule a country?
    "Rule a country"? That sounds like a ruler's words. For all their rhetoric, governments have never been too keen on democracy. It stops them doing what they want, which is rule, not govern.
    I mean, ok freedom of speech, and every person's opinion should count, but isnt this idealistic?
    Well, the most wealthy and- over a long-term- economically successful countries have all had democratic elements in their system of government. Coincidence?
    How many people know the political issues home and abroad, and these are the people who are relied upon by the parties to vote.
    You assume that we can know absolutely everything about a political issue.
    These votes are meaningless, and vulnerable to tabloids such as the sun or daily mirror to influence them. When Blair was first elected Prime Minister, it was the backing of the Sun that guranteed him this position.
    It was according to the Sun and, i suspect, Blair. Whether thet was true is another matter. Certainly Murdoch and his media interests have too much power.
    So in that sense democracy isnt the best option. Does this mean only clued up people should vote? Well yeah, those who can act in the best interest of the country, not just because of a temporary popularity contest.
    Let us examine your terms: how are we to decide who is "clued up"? What is "the country", in whose best interests they will act? Themselves alone? Or do the nonvoting people's interrests have to be considered too? Then why not let them decide for themselves?
    There should be exposure of the political issues that concern us in schools aswell as in other aspects of everydaylife.
    Yet another compulsory A/S level?
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    That's why china do not want to adopt democracy.Most of people do not have high level of education and they won't be able to understand government policies...will be easily manipulated...
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    (Original post by viva0yue999)
    That's why china do not want to adopt democracy.Most of people do not have high level of education and they won't be able to understand government policies...will be easily manipulated...
    How do you know the majority of chinese people would not prefer democracy???
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    Hey Weejimmie, I see you have teared up my response to the question! :eek: lol. Well I still stand by my earlier notion, democracy is a privilege, not a right, and should be earned. I mean, we the voters should be motivated to take atleast an active interest, and when I say 'clued up' people, I dont necessarily mean that should know absolute everything. There, I agree with you that it is not really possible.

    And exposure to political issues need not be an AS level, but something people have general knowledge about. I mean it shouldnt be deemed uncool (not saying thats what what you think, but on personal experience people in my school it has been the case). I dont know, if its just simply reading any broadsheet everyday for an hour or so or watching the news, (but thats infringemnet of peoples personal rights I guess :confused: )

    But then again, those people who bother to vote must have the likings to certain parties and good reasons for their choice, and those who cant be bothered, will not vote anyway, so it doenst really affect the outcome. It only affects those floating votes I suppose, which are swayed by certain events or current opinions. Then again, that too hopefully is minimal. The system we have is the best that we have, but theres always a room for improvement.
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    (Original post by viva0yue999)
    That's why china do not want to adopt democracy.Most of people do not have high level of education and they won't be able to understand government policies...will be easily manipulated...
    But the reason they cannot understand government policies (even if that isn't true at all) is because it is impossible for them to see any kind of apolitical, objectiveish reports of what is going on and they are not told the full story. You are essentially saying the reason that there should not be democracy in China is that their undemocratic system is flawed, and thus your argument is flawed.
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    (Original post by viva0yue999)
    That's why china do not want to adopt democracy.Most of people do not have high level of education and they won't be able to understand government policies...will be easily manipulated...
    Considering the activities of the government in China, which has held power for over fifty years, in starving and murdering the Chinese people and their other subjects, and the lies they have told about it, the Chinese government is probably more worried about the Chinese people understanding government policies and holding the government to account for them.
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    (Original post by JnA)
    The system we have is the best that we have, but theres always a room for improvement.
    Agreed. there are considerable problems, but a government ultimately has to answer to the people that it governs.
    Another argument: Amyarta SEn pointed out that there has been no famine in a functioning democracy. He overstates somewhat, but compare the record in a flawed democracy like india with China, Pakistan, Ethiopia...
 
 
 
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