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Democracy needs to change

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by ultralaser, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. ultralaser

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 7, 2014

    Posts: 934

    If you'll bare with me I want to discuss what I think is wrong with modern politics and why I feel it has led to a whole host of issues from Brexit through to Trump. Fundamentally I think we're reaching a point in society where due to everything from technological progress through to 'particles of iced water syndrome' we are becoming increasingly polarised (whether it be by age, location, income, education etc) and we're becoming this way in a political landscape that makes the situation even worse.

    When democracy reared it's head many moons ago, we wanted a mechanism for allowing the people rather than a elite class to rule. The only practical solution back then to enable this was to allow the public to elect officials to represent them. As politics developed, factions grew, today we see it played out as right vs left, socialism vs capitalism, conservatives vs labour, republicans vs democrats. In a landscape dominated by two party politics and in a system where by we elect our government in this way, we basically force ourselves into polarised positions .... I.e. we're all forced to align our votes to one end of the spectrum.

    Today we can use our smart phones to influence everything from the temperature of our homes, the time our food arrives through to the who gets kicked out of I'm a celebrity. But we can't use this technology (or any) to influence what it is our government does in our name......

    Back to polarisation for a second. Taking me as an example, I don't want a government that adopts all of the Tories policies (or any other party for that matter). Like most I hold positions that spread the political spectrum. I'd support the Green's on movement away from fossil fuels, Labour on scrapping tuition fees and the Tories on the economic plans, but alas when I vote I'm forced into supporting some polar end of the spectrum.

    In todays hyper connected world why can't we (the public - the ones democracy is designed to serve) be consulted on an ever growing number of issues. Why can't our collective voice be the mechanism that approves policy or sets the agenda rather than a faction of politicians?

    Thoughts?

    UL.
     
  2. billysielu

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 9, 2009

    Posts: 11,442

    Location: Oxfordshire

    IMO democracy died when money stopped being backed by gold.

    Wealth is transferred from western countries to the governments of developing countries in the name of aid - but the people don't see any of it.

    Governments give vast sums to companies in the name of bailouts - yep that's your money being given away, billions of it.

    Governments borrow to make themselves look good - the only reason they can borrow is they promise to tax citizens to pay for it.

    Citizens don't want to be taxed, so they're taxed by printing money so they don't realise. This is the same concept as shaving bits off every gold coin.

    Banks are allowed to lend money they don't have - they lend you your own future payments. Yep, they lend you your own money.
     
  3. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,506

    Democracy means nothing if you can't (effectively) vote that you aren't happy with the current system (most people would rather not vote or just vote for a party at random or that they are least unhappy with rather than spoil ballot, etc.) putting things back on the table for a complete rework.

    I have the same problem in that I've very strong views that I will not compromise in a vote when it comes to our defence posture, NHS and housing situation and no one party polarises with my views.
     
  4. Woden

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 7, 2011

    Posts: 6,667

    Location: Oldham, Lancashire

    We shouldn't be consulted on everything. We have no knowledge or experience in the vast majority of things the government do. The whole point is to elect someone to make those decisions for us.

    The real issue is that the people we elect have no idea either. Jeremy Hunt is responsible for the department of health, but has zero education or training in any health topics. Justine Greening is the minister for education, but is an accountant by trade, with no education training.
     
  5. billysielu

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 9, 2009

    Posts: 11,442

    Location: Oxfordshire

    The voting part of it is about expressing your opinion.

    The problem is most ppl have been told what to think - constantly bombarded with messages on TV, social media, news, etc.

    E.g. loads of ppl think women are mis-treated. But the whole point is to get them to support women working.

    Women working means twice as many people are working, meaning people command half the salary they used to.

    Companies get twice the labour for the same cost.

    The family then has to pay for child care.

    If you think it's about caring for women, you're an idiot.
     
  6. Quartz

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 8,936

    Location: Aberdeen

    Constant referendums? No thank you. But you have a point about there being only two major parties. A good way to change that would be Approval Voting so that you can vote for multiple candidates and elect the most popular, rather than the least unpopular as at present with FPTP.
     
  7. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,506

    That isn't necessarily a problem it depends on approach - someone with significant management experience and a willingness to engage with those immediately below them/seek expert advice can do well in such a position. The problem is when managers don't know what they don't know and just ride roughshod over any dissent.
     
  8. billysielu

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 9, 2009

    Posts: 11,442

    Location: Oxfordshire

    They do have referendums regularly in Switzerland. The people are directly involved in major political decisions.

    There is a debate on the e-petition on proportional representation tomorrow afternoon, you can watch at parliamentlive.tv
     
  9. mid_gen

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 20, 2004

    Posts: 8,519

    FPTP and the electoral college system are going to result in the continued decline of the US and UK.

    It doesn't work in the internet age when everyone is profiled and pushed into one of two camps. Brexit and Trump isn't the last stupid electoral event that triggers years of division and self destruction.

    Societies with political systems that are based on consensus (and probably dictatorships, for now) are going to leave the US and UK behind.
     
  10. ultralaser

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 7, 2014

    Posts: 934

    I'd never advocate for constant referendums, but I always worry when we're less happy to have a voice on, say our approach to North Korea than giving a review of a recent Amazon purchase. We're often too eager to give away our voice, the voice that was fort for. Taking a few hours out of our weeks to form a considered opinion to represent the UK is surely worth it.

    FPTP doesn't solve the problem, you're still voting for a faction, one which doesn't represent with enough granularity the view of the people. I don't know the solution but I do think technology will be at the heart of it.
     
  11. lemonkettaz

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 28, 2005

    Posts: 11,704

    Maybe create a whole new concept living without money

    A concept of co existence and knowledge. Very hippy like for me tbh but the way so few are beginning the take in the most in society is dangerous and poisonous
     
  12. Caracus2k

    Soldato

    Joined: Jan 27, 2009

    Posts: 5,017

    Nothing like the horrors of utopian worldviews when attempts are made to try and implement them in reality
     
  13. RDM

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 1, 2007

    Posts: 20,210

    Yet despite that I would rather be poor now than in any other time period in British history.
     
  14. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 14,078

    The problem we have is the people at the top making it a priority to set things up for themselves. Eventually it's all going to backfire.

    And the reason they won't put the forign aid money to better use, is because "forign aid" is basically bribes to butter up dodgy forign governments and get them on-side.
     
  15. ver01@

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 7, 2017

    Posts: 427

    Democracy needs to change to aristocracy.

    Proposals/plans/solutions supported by the majority are by definition not always the best.
     
  16. Vonhelmet

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 28, 2005

    Posts: 48,109

    Location: On the hoods

    Money being backed by gold is stupid, because it means you can become "wealthy" purely by stealing or other use of force, or by blind luck.
     
  17. Vonhelmet

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 28, 2005

    Posts: 48,109

    Location: On the hoods

    How would that possibly be better? Why should the wealthy elite make the decisions? Why would they make the best decisions?

    Unless by aristocracy you mean meritocracy or technocracy, and even then...
     
  18. jaffveyda

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 26, 2010

    Posts: 1,103

    Location: Hay May Land

    Well we think that they know what they are doing but in reality not so much.
     
  19. FishFluff

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 7, 2003

    Posts: 5,186

    Location: Deepest, darkest Leeds

    We need proportional representation instead of the FPTP garbage we have now. Our politicians are supposed to be grown-ups, it's about time they learned to work together and compromise.

    Then we need a law requiring politicians to provide independent, peer reviewed evidence for their decision making. If there isn't sufficient research supporting something, then it shouldn't be implemented. Decisions shouldn't be made for ideological reasons or because they're proven vote-winners.

    And ffs, no more referendums. They're too easy to influence and people don't vote based on logic or reason.
     
  20. wesimmo

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 19, 2012

    Posts: 2,626

    The problem, IMHO, is that voters today aren't qualified to vote.

    I've got a fairly good understanding of macro economics, for a lay person, having studied it at uni but still have gaps in my knowledge and things will have changed since I studied.

    When you ask the man in the street about Brexit, as an example, are they really qualified and informed enough to vote on the subject? I'd argue not.

    It was different years and years back, things were less complex, vote for the guy with the biggest army as they'll protect you.