Friday, 26 October 2012

It Doesn't Matter Who You Vote For ...

I think it was Winston Churchill who once drily observed: "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

In the West, by which I mean any country begining with "United" but not ending in "Arab Emirates," we tend to pride ourselves on being "democratic." But how democratic are we?

We don't have "direct democracy" in which each of us has the right to vote directly on issues, instead we have "representative democracy" in which we vote for epresentatives and give them the right to vote on issues on our behalf. (Why we should allow this I leave you to figure out.) Worse still, we have political parties, which bind those representatives to one ideology or another, and threaten them with dire consequences if they do not vote according to the wishes of the party leadership. Thus is "the will of the people", for want of a better phrase, watered down to the will of a political elite.

In the immortal words of Neil Innes*: "No matter who you vote for ... the government always gets in."

( * Neil Innes is an honorary Python - and if that means nothing to you, then you have some serious Googling ahead of you.)

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