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Modern democracy

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Modern democracy
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Modern democracy

Given that the UK is headed for "hard Brexit" based on the vote of 37% or so of the electorate (about 27% of the total population) and America has an actual loon in the White House based on a minority of the popular vote. Do you think modern democracy needs a rethink?

I'm currently at work on my phone so I shan't elucidate my views fully at present but shall do once I'm at my PC
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Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:59 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: Modern democracy

"Modern democracy" always needs a rethink, and not because of the reasons you stated.

That rethinking can be done through a constitutional amendment or modification in most countries. Constitutions are often a limit on democracy since they make it clear what things are not up for the majority to decide. Like individual rights.

The people voting to leave a giant international bloc that's barely even democratic - not really a concern, I would be concerned if there was NO legal way to leave the EU. Even if you want to argue that it's bad policy I don't see how that puts democracy in crisis and it's not possible to have 100% of the population voting anyway since a good deal of people are minors. Now adults not showing up to vote can be a problem, but that's a cultural problem mainly.
Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:31 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Tree wrote:"Modern democracy" always needs a rethink, and not because of the reasons you stated.

That rethinking can be done through a constitutional amendment or modification in most countries. Constitutions are often a limit on democracy since they make it clear what things are not up for the majority to decide. Like individual rights.

The people voting to leave a giant international bloc that's barely even democratic - not really a concern, I would be concerned if there was NO legal way to leave the EU. Even if you want to argue that it's bad policy I don't see how that puts democracy in crisis and it's not possible to have 100% of the population voting anyway since a good deal of people are minors. Now adults not showing up to vote can be a problem, but that's a cultural problem mainly.


But we are persuing a very specific vision with specific aims based on a referendum that was not specific about said things. Anyone who says anything against what the government is doing is told to stop frustrating the "will of the people" (by which they mean the will of a minority of the electorate).

There is certainly a case from the left for leaving the EU. One that I find somewhat compelling, but we aren't going to get Tony Benn's vision of Britian outside Europe, we are going to get the Tory Party's right wing authoritarian version. As though that was on the ballot. I voted remain because I couldn't trust the government to carry out Brexit on terms that I would find acceptable.

Even if we were to accept the result as a majority (which it isn't) it would only be so as a snapshot in time. What about the kids too young to vote who will fully realise the implications when a percentage of the leave vote (younger people were far more pro remain) will be six foot under? Maybe the decision will be easy to reverse, but still its not going to go back to pre-Brexit conditions. In historical terms it really is the will of a minority dictating the future of the majority who are too young to vote or haven't been born yet.

I feel like this whole rhetoric that the remain side should button it because they "lost" is an indication that democracy is broken. I'm not sure it could be fixed without complete dismantling and rebuilding. I personally think it would work better with far less centralised power and more individual say in communities.





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Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:49 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: Modern democracy

But we are persuing a very specific vision with specific aims based on a referendum that was not specific about said things.


I thought the referendum was very specific: do you want UK to be part of the EU bloc or not.

Anyone who says anything against what the government is doing is told to stop frustrating the "will of the people" (by which they mean the will of a minority of the electorate).


It is the majority of those who bothered to show up to vote. With some very rare exceptions I can only conclude that if you don't show up to vote you don't care either way what happens and you're basically willing to toss a coin or have someone else make the decision for you. By the same token we can also conclude that an even tinier minority actually wanted to be in the EU and genuinely believed in its plan.

Even if we were to accept the result as a majority (which it isn't) it would only be so as a snapshot in time.


It's not just a snapshot in time, it's not like they decided over night to just dump a referendum on the people and take them by surprise.

Everyone knew this was coming for years because 1. they announced it and 2. a significant part of the country was not in favor of the EU so you could have predicted it even before the announced it. The remain camp had years to make its case to the British people and the EU itself had years to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Brexit camp.

One of the main concerns was that the EU was not democratic enough. This is true and could have been solved by giving the EU Parliament the power to actually propose legislation and holding elections for the President of the European Commission.

There is certainly a case from the left for leaving the EU. One that I find somewhat compelling, but we aren't going to get Tony Benn's vision of Britian outside Europe, we are going to get the Tory Party's right wing authoritarian version. As though that was on the ballot. I voted remain because I couldn't trust the government to carry out Brexit on terms that I would find acceptable.


So... you don't trust the British people to vote the correct way basically and therefore an international body should override some of that will of the people?

You can kinda see now why people are saying the EU is undemocratic.

I'm no fan of a pure democracy myself, I prefer a republic, but I'm more concerned with the majority voting to take away my fundamental rights. Whether or not a trade bloc is good or bad, that's legitimate point of disagreement. Really, countries were fine before the EU and will be fine long after it's gone, being part of an international bloc is not something fundamental to a democracy and if people get sick of it, what's wrong with leaving? You can't rule people against their will.

What about the kids too young to vote who will fully realise the implications when a percentage of the leave vote (younger people were far more pro remain) will be six foot under? Maybe the decision will be easy to reverse, but still its not going to go back to pre-Brexit conditions. In historical terms it really is the will of a minority dictating the future of the majority who are too young to vote or haven't been born yet.


That's always been the case with every democratic system and I can easily turn it around and point out that the older generation gave life and limb for the country and generally have more wisdom because they have more life experience. Elders have always guided the new generation.

If you take the US for example, the founding fathers' vision still influences US politics even though they're all long dead and don't actually vote. That's not a bad thing because they generally had good ideas about how to run a long lasting republic.

What's the alternative? Old people shouldn't vote? That would be taxation without representation. This sort of reminds me of the time some MRAs complained that women vote in certain ways that they don't agree with. It's possible women tend to vote for bigger government, it's a moot point to me considering women not voting means they can't hold a bad government accountable. So they would be governed without consent. (I do want them to be drafted through.)

Minors and the unborn - I wonder if you're equally concerned when politicians add to the national debt that these people will have to pay up when they're working adults. Pretty much all the public pension plans are giant ponzi schemes. There's no real growth, old time investors get their money from the new investors. As soon as there are no more new investors (or when their numbers and incomes greatly diminish), it all collapses. If anyone else ran an investment fund like that in the private sector they would be in jail.
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:11 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Tree wrote:
I thought the referendum was very specific: do you want UK to be part of the EU bloc or not.


There are lots of terms on which we could leave. Remaining in the Single Market for example. That option was not part of the Referendum yet the government are deciding that the "people" want to leave it in order to control immigration.

It is the majority of those who bothered to show up to vote. With some very rare exceptions I can only conclude that if you don't show up to vote you don't care either way what happens and you're basically willing to toss a coin or have someone else make the decision for you. By the same token we can also conclude that an even tinier minority actually wanted to be in the EU and genuinely believed in its plan.


You have to bear in mind also that a lot of the polls were saying we would remain in the EU. Some people might not have turned out based on that. Some people might have abstained because they disagree with referendums on principle.

On top of this we have the fact that some people voted to leave based on false campaign promises.

It's not just a snapshot in time, it's not like they decided over night to just dump a referendum on the people and take them by surprise.


Yes, however the people that are 10 years old now, will be those who will grow into a country that has already left the EU. Whether their prospects are better or worse remains to be seen. But if they are worse then their life has been negatively affected by the decision of previous generations. If the majority of the next generation view Brexit as a negative thing, then their lives have been dictated by a minority of the past.

Everyone knew this was coming for years because 1. they announced it and 2. a significant part of the country was not in favor of the EU so you could have predicted it even before the announced it. The remain camp had years to make its case to the British people and the EU itself had years to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Brexit camp.

One of the main concerns was that the EU was not democratic enough. This is true and could have been solved by giving the EU Parliament the power to actually propose legislation and holding elections for the President of the European Commission.


I'm not talking about the years leading up to the vote. I am talking about the years afterwards. When the effects become known. People voted based on falsehoods that is evidently clear. Several of the campaign promises were reigned in the morning that the result was announced. In a country that prides itself on the NHS, telling people that Brexit would save millions every week that could be used to fund the NHS, a lot of people voted under that pretence alone.

I am actually in agreement about the EU being undemocratic, and as I said I might have voted to leave under different circumstances.

So... you don't trust the British people to vote the correct way basically and therefore an international body should override some of that will of the people?


I never said that. I am using Brexit merely as an example of the issues we face with democracy. I don't think huge centralised powers like the EU should exist. I think we need to work towards a system that is less centralised, with the power more diffuse. Currently the government are leaving the EU based on their own agenda using the vote as a mandate to do so on whichever terms they choose. Its still a centralised power dictating the lives of ordinary people who currently have no power to stop them.

You can kinda see now why people are saying the EU is undemocratic.


I agree.

That's always been the case with every democratic system and I can easily turn it around and point out that the older generation gave life and limb for the country and generally have more wisdom because they have more life experience. Elders have always guided the new generation.


Again I was using Brexit to highlight a general philosophical objection to democracy. I think in a historical perspective it is always the rule of a minority.

What's the alternative? Old people shouldn't vote? That would be taxation without representation. This sort of reminds me of the time some MRAs complained that women vote in certain ways that they don't agree with. It's possible women tend to vote for bigger government, it's a moot point to me considering women not voting means they can't hold a bad government accountable. So they would be governed without consent. (I do want them to be drafted through.)


I think individuals should have more power in their local region. Rather than having a single representative in one power centre. Distribute the power more evenly regionally. Make things more accountable. I don't know I really don't have all the solutions myself. I think answers come from discussion. I just see that things are badly broken at the moment and people need to start talking about ideas for how to do things better.

I am not against democracy per se. I just think that the majority should not simply ignore the minority. The minority should be given some concession, or some place in negotiations post vote. Going back to the Brexit example. The rhetoric from the Leave camp is 'you lost deal with it' but really Remain ought to have a say in the negotiations especially considering how close the vote was. But that is not happening.
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Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:42 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3222Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Laurens wrote:Given that the UK is headed for "hard Brexit" based on the vote of 37% or so of the electorate (about 27% of the total population) and America has an actual loon in the White House based on a minority of the popular vote. Do you think modern democracy needs a rethink?

I'm currently at work on my phone so I shan't elucidate my views fully at present but shall do once I'm at my PC


No. People just need to vote. If people choose not to vote (for whatever reason), that is there problem. People are given the opportunity to voice their choice, and if they do not use that opportunity, there is nothing that can be done.
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

he_who_is_nobody wrote:No. People just need to vote. If people choose not to vote (for whatever reason), that is there problem. People are given the opportunity to voice their choice, and if they do not use that opportunity, there is nothing that can be done.



Suppose everyone eligible to vote in the EU referendum did turn out and the result was the same: 52% leave vs 48% remain. There would still only be a 4% difference between the two sides, yet we are being given Brexit in the strongest possible leave terms. With the government assuming the vote was about immigration (despite it saying nothing about that on the ballot) and thus deciding the only course of action is to leave the single market.

There are still issues that occur regardless of voter turn out. For instance what of those who were too young to vote at the time of the referendum, their lives are being dictated with no input whatsoever from them. If Brexit turns out to be as bad as some people seem to forecast, its them who are going to feel it most when they come to start looking for work etc. By which time a lot of the leave camp (who seemed to be more among the older generations) will be dead.

Some issues such as those I outlined above would still be issues regardless of whether everyone voted. We still have a system that allows the minority to win. In the last general election in Britain the Tories got into power with the support of less than 25% of those who turned out to vote. They are now dismantling our public services, and carrying out policies considered human rights abuses as though they have a mandate to do so.

I don't see that these things would change if voter turnout was higher.

EDIT: Ooops the Tories got into power with the support of less than 25% of all registered voters not those who turned out. Sorry.
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Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:17 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3222Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Laurens wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:No. People just need to vote. If people choose not to vote (for whatever reason), that is there problem. People are given the opportunity to voice their choice, and if they do not use that opportunity, there is nothing that can be done.


Suppose everyone eligible to vote in the EU referendum did turn out and the result was the same: 52% leave vs 48% remain. There would still only be a 4% difference between the two sides, yet we are being given Brexit in the strongest possible leave terms. With the government assuming the vote was about immigration (despite it saying nothing about that on the ballot) and thus deciding the only course of action is to leave the single market.


Is that not how democracy is supposed to work? This is why we are supposed to be able to talk about these issues before it happens, to try to change people to your side. One cannot get upset at democracy simply because the vote did not go in ones favor.

Laurens wrote:There are still issues that occur regardless of voter turn out. For instance what of those who were too young to vote at the time of the referendum, their lives are being dictated with no input whatsoever from them. If Brexit turns out to be as bad as some people seem to forecast, its them who are going to feel it most when they come to start looking for work etc. By which time a lot of the leave camp (who seemed to be more among the older generations) will be dead.


This is true for any policy ever made. Minors are not allowed to vote because we believe them to be immature. You can point to this for anything you disagree with and say, "there are untold horrors to come for future generations." That is not reason enough to stop laws and policies from being voted on now. Again, this is why we are supposed to have an informed populist. Issues like the future generations should be taken into consideration by the people making the vote.

Laurens wrote:Some issues such as those I outlined above would still be issues regardless of whether everyone voted. We still have a system that allows the minority to win. In the last general election in Britain the Tories got into power with the support of less than 25% of those who turned out to vote. They are now dismantling our public services, and carrying out policies considered human rights abuses as though they have a mandate to do so.


I would say this is something that can be change with runoff voting. However, the trick is getting a system like that in place and that takes people actually getting out and voting in the system we have now.

Laurens wrote:I don't see that these things would change if voter turnout was higher.


Well, runoff voting seems to be something that you might want to try to put into place. However, that does take working with the current system to try to change it to the system you want. That means getting people out to vote is still the first step.
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatar
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Post Re: Modern democracy

Greetings,

At least with the voting issue, I think that referenda should be worded so that if you want change, you have to vote for it.

This would get people out to vote for change - and also the people who're afraid that change will occur unless they vote against it.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
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Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:04 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

I just don't see the system having much capacity for change, at least not enough to solve the great issues facing us given that the clock is very much ticking with regards to the biggest existential threat to civilisation.

Firstly there is nothing that holds politicians to account. You can literally just say a load of shit in your campaign and once you get into government you can just do what you please. An example of this would be the pledge to donate £350 million per week to the NHS. This is the kind of thing that would have caused people to vote to leave the EU. People see that the NHS is in crisis and think they could save it based on this campaign promise. Then it was swept under the rug. So far as I can tell there is nothing in place to stop politicians from making false promises, and I don't see them willingly enacting legislation that would prevent this.

Which leads me onto another point. I don't see that you can have a functioning democracy when people do not have access to the accurate information that they need in order to make their choices. Not only are the general population lied to in campaigns and therefore vote based upon faulty information, the majority of the media that they consume is heavily biased. When a political figure such as Jeremy Corbyn comes along and proposes anti-establishment policies. Ones that would put an end to a lot of the corruption in politics, and curb wealth inequality, he is subject to a barrage of media attacks. And they work, Corbyn is highly unpopular not only because the media have been so relentless in their attacks on him, but because members of his own party continually sabotage him. I don't know that it is possible for someone to exist in politics with an agenda based upon removing corruption and removing corporate interest from politics.

We basically get the politicians that the establishment want. Which I believe leaves us with extremely limited scope for change. If you want an example of what I mean, you can see that the Sun has supported the winning party at every general election since the mid '70s [the graphic is from an article pre-2010 election, which was a conservative/lib-dem coalition so they weren't strictly correct, but not wrong either]:

Image

The Sun also supported Brexit. We have a media that supports a corrupt establishment, and will attack anyone who moves too far away from their interests.

I don't see that voting will change the set up. It is stacked in their favour. The media by and large dictates public opinion towards being in favour of the candidates that corporate interests want to win, anyone who deviates too far from their grounds for debate is demonised relentlessly. People are voting based on false promises, for politicians who serve other interests once in office anyway.

In terms of combating climate change, we need to propose some pretty radical anti-corporate measures. We should have put them in place 10 years ago. We don't have much time left. I honestly do not see the current system, such that it is, as providing the grounds for this degree of change. Maybe I'm wrong, but we have another few years to swing things back the right way before the next set of elections, and I don't know that we have that kind of time left. This isn't the time to be writing strongly worded letters to our MPs. Trump dismantling the EPA and the pro-fracting pro-corporate Tories doing as they please for a few years might be the final straw. I don't think the modern democratic system supports the change we need. If that is the case we need a new system or we are all fucked.
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Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:20 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3222Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Laurens wrote:I just don't see the system having much capacity for change, at least not enough to solve the great issues facing us given that the clock is very much ticking with regards to the biggest existential threat to civilisation.


The Regressive Left?

Laurens wrote:Firstly there is nothing that holds politicians to account. You can literally just say a load of shit in your campaign and once you get into government you can just do what you please. An example of this would be the pledge to donate £350 million per week to the NHS. This is the kind of thing that would have caused people to vote to leave the EU. People see that the NHS is in crisis and think they could save it based on this campaign promise. Then it was swept under the rug. So far as I can tell there is nothing in place to stop politicians from making false promises, and I don't see them willingly enacting legislation that would prevent this.


What is supposed to stop the politicians from making false promises is the voters. Again, this is why we need a well educated and informed population when it comes to having a democracy. The voting records of all the politicians should be public knowledge and people should base their vote on that.

Laurens wrote:We basically get the politicians that the establishment want. Which I believe leaves us with extremely limited scope for change. If you want an example of what I mean, you can see that the Sun has supported the winning party at every general election since the mid '70s [the graphic is from an article pre-2010 election, which was a conservative/lib-dem coalition so they weren't strictly correct, but not wrong either]:

Image


Correlation does not equal causation. In the U.S., before the 2014 elections, everyone was saying that the campaign that raised the most money won every election. 2014 and 2016 elections disproved that.

Laurens wrote:I don't see that voting will change the set up. It is stacked in their favour. The media by and large dictates public opinion towards being in favour of the candidates that corporate interests want to win, anyone who deviates too far from their grounds for debate is demonised relentlessly. People are voting based on false promises, for politicians who serve other interests once in office anyway.


If not voting, than what else do you propose? We went over this before in another thread, but short of picking up a gun and actively fighting against your government, what other option is there?

Laurens wrote:In terms of combating climate change, we need to propose some pretty radical anti-corporate measures. We should have put them in place 10 years ago. We don't have much time left. I honestly do not see the current system, such that it is, as providing the grounds for this degree of change. Maybe I'm wrong, but we have another few years to swing things back the right way before the next set of elections, and I don't know that we have that kind of time left. This isn't the time to be writing strongly worded letters to our MPs. Trump dismantling the EPA and the pro-fracting pro-corporate Tories doing as they please for a few years might be the final straw. I don't think the modern democratic system supports the change we need. If that is the case we need a new system or we are all fucked.


What system would that be? Beyond that, how do you propose putting that system into place? I am all ears.
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
What is supposed to stop the politicians from making false promises is the voters. Again, this is why we need a well educated and informed population when it comes to having a democracy. The voting records of all the politicians should be public knowledge and people should base their vote on that.


I agree things would probably we much better in terms of democracy if people were better educated. We can do what we can on that front, but if the majority of the electorate don't possess or care to possess critical thinking skills, and the media they consume is biased in favour of the politicians who decide to con people, what can we do other than accept the mess that these uninformed voters leave us in.

Correlation does not equal causation. In the U.S., before the 2014 elections, everyone was saying that the campaign that raised the most money won every election. 2014 and 2016 elections disproved that.


I agree, but I don't necessarily think that a causal link between who the mostly widely read newspaper support in elections and the people who win those elections is beyond reason.

If not voting, than what else do you propose? We went over this before in another thread, but short of picking up a gun and actively fighting against your government, what other option is there?


I don't think that violence is ever going to sort things out. But we do collectively hold more power than we think. People assume that the polling booth and online petitions are the only means to enact change. If there was an organised general strike with specific aims, and it garnered enough support people would start to listen. Maybe that is pie in the sky, but there is little doubt that everyone deciding to shut the economy down by striking in unison would get the right people to listen.

What system would that be? Beyond that, how do you propose putting that system into place? I am all ears.


I don't think democracy has to be thrown out entirely. I just think that less centralised power, that is far more accountable to the populace needs to be in place. At the moment if there is a policy put forth in Westminster that affects the entire country and that is unanimously hated by everyone in my region, we are lumped with it. I think we need more leaders in more localised areas, who are far more accountable to everyone. I don't have a perfect vision of the kind of system that I want to see, but it would still be a democracy of sorts. Just a less centralised, more proportionally representative system. A system where writing to your MP might actually achieve something. Where anybody could start a political movement in their region and actually stand a chance of changing things if it gained enough traction. If I wanted to become an MP right now it would cost me thousands which would automatically exclude a great percentage of the population. Things like that need to change.

I won't say exactly how they ought to change because I think we'd need to arrive at that through discussion and truly democratic debate. I don't know that it's possible to achieve a fairer more representative system. But I feel like it has to happen, or wealth inequality is just going to increase even more, the rich will hide in the northern hemisphere in their special secluded communities and the rest of us will suffer hellishly with the effects of climate change.
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Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:37 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3222Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Laurens wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:
What is supposed to stop the politicians from making false promises is the voters. Again, this is why we need a well educated and informed population when it comes to having a democracy. The voting records of all the politicians should be public knowledge and people should base their vote on that.


I agree things would probably we much better in terms of democracy if people were better educated. We can do what we can on that front, but if the majority of the electorate don't possess or care to possess critical thinking skills, and the media they consume is biased in favour of the politicians who decide to con people, what can we do other than accept the mess that these uninformed voters leave us in.


This is, the basics, of my solution, and I know that the ship as already sailed in the U.S.; but we need to invest in education. Not college, but elementary and high school education. By investing in education, I mean paying teachers more. When children are eight, they should learn critical thinking skills, not just what to think. Their freshmen year of high school, they should take a logic and reason class.

I do not see a better solution, and my solution will take a generation. I do not have a better one, but I am all ears for one.

Laurens wrote:
Correlation does not equal causation. In the U.S., before the 2014 elections, everyone was saying that the campaign that raised the most money won every election. 2014 and 2016 elections disproved that.


I agree, but I don't necessarily think that a causal link between who the mostly widely read newspaper support in elections and the people who win those elections is beyond reason.


It is not beyond reason, but it also should not be something to be taken for granted. Until there is a real link shown between those two things, that is not a good example.

Laurens wrote:
If not voting, than what else do you propose? We went over this before in another thread, but short of picking up a gun and actively fighting against your government, what other option is there?


I don't think that violence is ever going to sort things out. But we do collectively hold more power than we think. People assume that the polling booth and online petitions are the only means to enact change. If there was an organised general strike with specific aims, and it garnered enough support people would start to listen. Maybe that is pie in the sky, but there is little doubt that everyone deciding to shut the economy down by striking in unison would get the right people to listen.


I have never been against pie in the sky. Most of the solutions I ever propose are pie in the sky (just look at my voter answer). I think you have something here. What do you need to do to get this accomplished.

Laurens wrote:
What system would that be? Beyond that, how do you propose putting that system into place? I am all ears.


I don't think democracy has to be thrown out entirely. I just think that less centralised power, that is far more accountable to the populace needs to be in place. At the moment if there is a policy put forth in Westminster that affects the entire country and that is unanimously hated by everyone in my region, we are lumped with it. I think we need more leaders in more localised areas, who are far more accountable to everyone. I don't have a perfect vision of the kind of system that I want to see, but it would still be a democracy of sorts. Just a less centralised, more proportionally representative system. A system where writing to your MP might actually achieve something. Where anybody could start a political movement in their region and actually stand a chance of changing things if it gained enough traction. If I wanted to become an MP right now it would cost me thousands which would automatically exclude a great percentage of the population. Things like that need to change.


That sounds wonderful. Sign me up.
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Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:00 pm
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatar
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Post Re: Modern democracy

Greetings,

You might find this of interest.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
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Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:18 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Sorry HWIN my phone can't handle quoting your post for some reason.

In response to your question about what I think it would take for a mass general strike: I think firstly it would take mass dissatisfaction at the current state of things. I think this box is already ticked. People see the corruption, and the wealth inequality etc.

Secondly it would require belief that a general strike would be effective. I don't know that it would be. I think it would require specific aims and demands, but spreading awareness of the efficacy of strikes in history as well as mass movements would hopefully get enough people on board.

Thirdly I think it would require people to get over their job insecurity fears. This is probably the biggest thing that would stop people, because with union power degraded along with workers rights, people would assume that they would lose their job. I think this would also require a clear vision and manefesto in order to show people that a better world is perhaps worth more than their job.
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Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:58 am
WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: Modern democracy

A general strike should also include news. Not consuming any of the lies and half truths they produce on the daily basis.

In general I all but lost all hope. I think we'd need someone like Bill Gates to put some money into news media so they could be independent from corporate interest. Forget all the fight for health in 3rd world countries. What will end us in the long run is misinformation by the corporations.
We're in this mess because people are easy to lie to and easy to scare into taking the position the fear mongers want them to take. This in turn gives the politicians mandate to do stupid stuff like war on terror or war on drugs or leave the EU.

Would it be bad to use fear to make people do the right thing? The issue with democracy is that people are emotional and they'll react sooner to something they're afraid of (real or, more often than not, imagined).
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Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:18 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatar
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Post Re: Modern democracy

Greetings,

Part of the problem is that the media isn't independent.

In America, if I remember correctly, most of the media is owned by six individuals - this hardly makes for diversity of views in a democracy.

Kindest regards,

James
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Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:12 pm
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2948Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Part of the problem is that the media isn't independent.

In America, if I remember correctly, most of the media is owned by six individuals - this hardly makes for diversity of views in a democracy.

Kindest regards,

James

Indeed and the advertisers who fund newspapers and tv stations have an influence on what gets reported too.

You're never going to get an article about exploitative labour in Nike factories when you're running ads by them for instance.
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Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:33 pm
thenexttodiePosts: 673Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Modern democracy

Laurens wrote:Given that the UK is headed for "hard Brexit" based on the vote of 37% or so of the electorate (about 27% of the total population) and America has an actual loon in the White House based on a minority of the popular vote. Do you think modern democracy needs a rethink?

I'm currently at work on my phone so I shan't elucidate my views fully at present but shall do once I'm at my PC


Yes.
Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:10 pm
TreePosts: 41Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:08 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: Modern democracy

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Part of the problem is that the media isn't independent.

In America, if I remember correctly, most of the media is owned by six individuals - this hardly makes for diversity of views in a democracy.

Kindest regards,

James


Then let's hope the alternative media gets more popular.

Lots of people are doing it now on YouTube and some already have 6 figure subs. That includes people from all political sides.

I really hate it when the mainstream media crudely dismisses them as "fake news" as if they never put out deliberate disinformation.

I would even go as far as to say you shouldn't automatically dismiss more conspiratorial sites like Infowars either. Sure there's a lot of crazy stuff there, but you also get video footage sometimes and you can't refute that. Doesn't matter if Infowars filmed it. Also they tend to be correct on the Constitution. Despite all his crazy ranting, Alex Jones was 100% correct on the 2nd amendment.
Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:48 pm
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