We are told of the great value of the democracy we live in, how it has led to so many great things. Of course that is just some damn find propaganda. The truth is democracy needs to be saved from itself, at least in its current form. Is it time to do away with this archaic political system? And what replaces it?
Democracy isn’t new, we all know that it is ancient. Rooting itself in Greece, starting in about 700 BCE with the Spartans and range voting. In 508 BCE Athens made a change. This was a true direct democracy, every citizen was part of the decision making process. Of course every citizen really meant about 15% of the local inhabitants. Women not getting a vote (apparently there were no Greek soccer players at the time), and who in their right mind would permit slaves the right to vote. Of course the Romans had elected official too, again making sure only the small percentage of people were voting. Back when citizenship was a lot tougher to come by. I would have been a slave back then, so things changed for the better for me. From those early times democracy has been around in many forms and voting groups. Slowly taking hold post middle ages.
As democracy took hold in Western Europe and moved its way to North America, it became a self righteous institution. Slowly the rules changed and more and more people got the right to vote. We abolished slavery, gave women the right to vote and then the former slaves the right to vote. Some positive movement. To entrench the system, we started to demonize other systems of political rule. We condemned the communists and other dictatorships. The Americans became the leaders of the democratic push following the second world war. While the Americans condemned the show trials of Stalin’s communist Soviet Union, they themselves had show trials of McCarthyism. Was one better than the other, sure less killing happened in the American system, of course lives were still ruined. But hey democracy was in its early days of shaking its mighty finger at the rest of the world.
With the fall of communism there was nothing to stop the American export of democracy. Which seemed to be working great in the United States and other western nations. Partisan politics were around, but of course people could unite under common enemies, like the Soviet Union. As this enemy fell away the export was in high gear. Now who could stop the United States from thrusting democracy upon nations, with no previous democratic values. It has been less than successful in most cases, and lead to regions of the world that really hate the western democracies. So points for pissing people off.
But my issue is with democracy on the home front. See our nation and the Americans to the south have shown a real issue with democracy. There are a few problems. One of them is that partisan politics from elected officials have taken over. The government is frozen in partisan pissing contests, nothing gets resolved. They just take turns whipping dicks out and saying the other guy has a smaller one. The problem is, nothing is being solved. Social issues, fiscal issues, they are all falling behind. The Americans on the brink of defaulting on loans, why? Because they can’t agree to anything. The GOP will tell you they love the colour red, as long as the Dems say they love blue. The moment the Dems give a little ground and say they could accept magenta, or even pink, the other side runs to green. Why just because agreeing might make their electorate think they are not sticking to their values. Well actually anti values, since really it is just important to hate the other side. The same happens with the multiple parties in Canada. They piss in each others cereal and truly good ideas are lost to the wind.
Why are partisan politics so big in our elected officials? Well it is because the electorate is to lazy to think. Basically we are stupid. We vote for the party without considering the policy or platforms. We blindly walk into our polling station with no thought of what we are voting for. Some say disenfranchised, some say voter apathy is a symptom of a system full of corruption and lies. The truth is if we can’t be bothered to listen and form opinions then why are continuing with democracy. If we think we are too busy to engage in the process, why not turn the keys over to an actual dictator. In Canada we already run all over our province on party dictatorship. In Ontario the Libs in Alberta the PCs. It is a waste of time. The argument in Canada against constant referendum is the idea of apathy. In the States people still vote on issues, not here. We have elected officials who are our voices. The problem is the people who are there to support our small areas, are whipped into voting as the party sees fit. So my voice gets further away. But we don’t care because we don’t have to think. Wasted democracy. Voter turnout is low in all democracies in the Western world, so why waste the time.
One more issue, democracy is just as rife with corruption as all other forms of government. For years we have been told of the abuse of power by officials we have elected. We are literally electing people who are criminals or appointing criminals. Recently a senator in Canada was arrested for a ton of charges in Canada. The Premier of our province was using our tax dollars for her personal enjoyment. Using the government fleet of jets to travel with her and her daughter as she sees fit. She planned to build herself a nice little penthouse on our dollar too. We paid her professional dues and they were late so we paid her penalty too. This sadly isn’t even something new to politicians.
So we have a system struck with corruption, partisan politics and an incompetent electorate. Why keep this crap going? Because we don’t know anything better. Just like our lazy voting habits, we will support this political system because we aren’t trying to improve things.