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Democracy: Is there any such thing?

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gcarth
gcarth e2 Member 102255 forum postsgcarth vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 10:40 AM

I think we use the word "democracy" a little too glibly. I think maybe we talk too often as if democracy is an absolute when clearly it cannot be.
If we had a political party called "The Democratic Tendency Party" we would all laugh but really such a silly name reflects a more accurate description of modern western politics. Surely democracy is all about consulting the people as a whole but it must be a two way thing i.e. politicians must be able to communicate their views with equal access to the media and financial backing.

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11 May 2010 - 10:40 AM

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ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014720 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 10:51 AM

You been listening to Michael Portillo's show on Radio 4 this morning ? Smile

digipix76
digipix76  7577 forum posts England
11 May 2010 - 11:13 AM


Quote: You been listening to Michael Portillo's show on Radio 4 this morning ? Smile

....So have you! Tongue

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014720 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 11:18 AM

Caught the first 15 minutes on the way to work

Sounded like a top show, may tune in at 9PM to catch the end.

Hard to believe that there were only 11 countries with democracy at the time of WW2!

And we'd only had proper democracy for a few years - women couldn't vote for a long time remember.

I think Portillo's point about people taking it for granted and almost treating it with distain was valid - many countries in the world still can't get rid of their government by voting. We are the lucky ones - and flawed as democracy may be, at least we can have a say once every 5 years.

JohnParminter
11 May 2010 - 12:25 PM


Quote: many countries in the world still can't get rid of their government by voting. We are the lucky ones - and flawed as democracy may be, at least we can have a say once every 5 years.

Even then Ade, we don't even get a government by voting......or at least not one the majority of folk expected.


Smile

Last Modified By JohnParminter at 11 May 2010 - 12:30 PM
fraser
fraser  10631 forum posts Scotland14 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 12:33 PM

Problem is, no party got a majority of the vote.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139388 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 12:47 PM

No party has got the majority of the vote in anyone's living memory!

We have been governed by minority governments, in terms of vote share, for several decades. But most are happy to live with this illusion/delusion of "democracy".... although a substantial number are not.

JohnParminter
11 May 2010 - 12:48 PM

Yes, that's what I was meaning fraser, even when we have the chance to vote as a democracy we still can't decide which one we want. The politicians will now decide for us, could be the formation of the two least popular parties with a Prime Minister we don't know - its all a bit bizarre isn't it? - this current system.

Last Modified By JohnParminter at 11 May 2010 - 12:50 PM
Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139388 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 12:52 PM

In other countries government-forming, after an election, involving more than one party is absolutely the norm.

But, in the UK, we are used to being ruled by a party which has got as little as a third of the vote. So we are getting our knickers in a twist over the the negotiations. How countries in the EU and elsewhere must be laughing at us! Grin

gcarth
gcarth e2 Member 102255 forum postsgcarth vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 1:05 PM


Quote: You been listening to Michael Portillo's show on Radio 4 this morning ? Smile

No, Ade - he might have been listening to me, though Wink
Of course, the problem is how to agree on what is democratic.
Is an election that is so tainted and influenced by media nonesense and distortions truly democratic?
Of course, I don't think this election is the only one to be influenced by the media but maybe people are becoming more enlightened.

fraser
fraser  10631 forum posts Scotland14 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 1:11 PM

The concept of a balanced government works in Scotland without any formal arrangment between the parties. There's no reason why it shouldn't be able to work at Westminster, apart from an ingrained tradition of fisty-cuffs and bluster.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139388 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 1:13 PM

All political parties in the UK hate referendums but, in a country such as Switzerland, they are run of the mill and a normal part of democracy.

It is something our political leaders, of all colours, need to think about. Starting (well maybe!) with a referendum on our voting system.

Binding referendums would, it seems to me, enhance democracy. Naturally the wording of the questions would be crucial.... and no doubt be something battled over at political level! Wink

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade  1014720 forum posts England216 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 1:30 PM

I think the Daily Mash summarises the situation very well - as usual Smile

KevSB
KevSB  101404 forum posts United Kingdom5 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 1:42 PM

I asked recently about the impartiality of the media and it was explained to me that the media are private owned businesses like any other and have no obligation to be neutral, in fact you could say that by continuing to buy them we rubber stamp the views, as a business owner very few of us would support someone that does your business harm so why should they, if we agree with that or not we have a choice to buy.
In fact the alternatives are state run papers common through out the eastern block during the cold war and claiming to be accurate fact, I never bought a newspaper tbh during the last two weeks as they just became propaganda mags.

I Am now curious how we ever came to the conclusion the word news was ever unbiased as I cannot find a definition to that effect, with the state owning the BBC they have a mandate to be neutral which has always been disputed by every side.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139388 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2010 - 1:46 PM

The media are part of the vested interests which run the country. They are owned by the 'great and the good' (good??). Nuff said. Wink

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