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The Id3al Experience

Is Democracy Working?

19 posts in this topic

Hello fellow UMers.

Me and a friend have been talking quiet intensivally on the topic of voting. I myself have only voted once, when I was 18 and could do so for the first time. Since then I have seem to have a laid back approach, as when I look at the people I will have a say putting into power. I see these party A and say out of the 10 policies you have shown me, I only like 1, but that 1 is better than the other parties 1 that I like, So I will choose party A.

So now I have a government, changing all these laws that I think is stupid, and didnt really get a say as I had to choose the lesser of 2 evils.

Now my friend has strong views and says I must have my say, its the ethical thing to do. Thus made my mind wonder about morals and ethics, So then some of the great moral philiosophers and not so great come to mind.

She used Kant's views to try and convience me to vote:

Eg -

When you are making a choice, ask yourself, if everyone did that, what woudl happen?

So if everyone decided not to vote, we wouldn't have a democracy etc etc

so if everyone can't not do it, then everyone should do it because same rules should apply to everyone. Right?

So it is your duty as a grown up to just suck it up and stop beign a baby and vote. because its the ETHICAL thing to do.

So my question to you all. IS democracy really democracy??

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you could vote third party or independent, not to win but just as a protest vote to show you don't like any of the candidates. That way it shows more then just not voting at all.

Edit: and as for the question is democracy working? I think it is. I mean we have a lot we can complain about but really things have been getting better over the decades. We take democracy for granted but really its an amazing time when the whole population actually can have a bit of a say. And its definitely better then any of the other systems around. Maybe we will think of some new one in the future that is even better though, who knows

Edited by spartan max2

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"Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Winston Churchill, 1947

Edited by Taun
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"Democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Winston Churchill, 1947

I agree, you are not going to ever win. However, I just feel that no matter what say I have, I will always have 50 other things that I dont agree with regarding that party I choose.

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I was once told

"When you stop arguing is when you start killing".

Ultimately that's what democracy is. Fighting it out with words instead of killing each other. This is how we hold large countries together. I don't think the high ideals of original thinkers in democracy can hold in such a large population, but the simple fact is at least we are arguing about our differences and not shooting it out.

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I guess my main issue, is that I dont get a say in ALL po

I was once told

"When you stop arguing is when you start killing".

Ultimately that's what democracy is. Fighting it out with words instead of killing each other. This is how we hold large countries together. I don't think the high ideals of original thinkers in democracy can hold in such a large population, but the simple fact is at least we are arguing about our differences and not shooting it out.

Of course, I dont think democracy is not working, I just dont think what we currently have is real democracy, hence the wolf in sheeps clothing.

thoughts?

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I guess my main issue, is that I dont get a say in ALL po

Of course, I dont think democracy is not working, I just dont think what we currently have is real democracy, hence the wolf in sheeps clothing.

thoughts?

No we do not have a true democracy in the United States, we have a polyigarchy. We are completely controlled by two factions with complete control over media and money. If I were a billionaire with money I still could not run for president because ultimately the media would not accept my business and my message could not be sent out.

I might be able to get commercials out, but if I say ran as a libertarian every news network would kill me. If I farted wrong they would find a way of accusing me of corruption. The only way would be to acquire and build my own media empire pretending to be one of them, then BAM! Be a turn coat. All the while I would have to be squeaky clean. Nobody with that much money is clean :(

Edited by White Crane Feather
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There is no perfect structure of government. The problem I have with democracy today is the exposure. The two main parties will get the main exposure and therefore the majority of people will choose one or another. We are, as a whole, responsible for the outcome. We allow the two main parties to have a duopoly. We will mainly see such. Only those who are more in depth and critical will consider other options. Others will simply see what they hear and see on tv and those are their only choices.

See the spending made on advertising on the last US election and that illustrates my point perfectly.

As for the operation. Like all ideaologies, in theory it makes sense. But being human, things like corruption, incompetence, etc. Will always creep in.

The biggest flaw in all this is us.

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Maybe the reason we have 2 main parties is because those parties represent the thinking of a majority of people. After all, there are alternatives, look at the Tea Party. And the Libertarian & Green parties have been around for a while, too. It's possible the reason other independent parties are so small is because they currently represent a minority view. Certainly, I am at odds with the Tea Part philosophy. While I agree with some of their platform, I disagree on the issues that are important to me, so I remain a Democrat. While I sometimes strongly disagree with some of their ideas, thinking, and actions, it more closely represents me than any other party.

But society is constantly changing. Look how thinking has changed around marijuana laws & gay rights, among others. Voting & politics are just two ways that I can express myself & possibly help bring about change. They are imperfect in that I will never have the choices that represent 100% of my thinking, but there are other venues available to me that I can use to help affect change in those areas that are important to me. Not everything we want to see done or to happen can be accomplished within the political arena, as it has its limitations. Which is maybe a good thing.

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Maybe the reason we have 2 main parties is because those parties represent the thinking of a majority of people. After all, there are alternatives, look at the Tea Party. And the Libertarian & Green parties have been around for a while, too. It's possible the reason other independent parties are so small is because they currently represent a minority view. Certainly, I am at odds with the Tea Part philosophy. While I agree with some of their platform, I disagree on the issues that are important to me, so I remain a Democrat. While I sometimes strongly disagree with some of their ideas, thinking, and actions, it more closely represents me than any other party.

But society is constantly changing. Look how thinking has changed around marijuana laws & gay rights, among others. Voting & politics are just two ways that I can express myself & possibly help bring about change. They are imperfect in that I will never have the choices that represent 100% of my thinking, but there are other venues available to me that I can use to help affect change in those areas that are important to me. Not everything we want to see done or to happen can be accomplished within the political arena, as it has its limitations. Which is maybe a good thing.

But you ask the average person about these policies and reveal their policies to them and they're second guessing themselves. You see it time and time again of people actively going out asking the average joe on the street and he doesn't know which policy belongs to what party.

Exposure to both parties "what you want to hears" and the media showing selective information is a key reason for this.

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:wacko: :wacko: I'm sure there is a democracy somewhere here or there, I was even told we had one here in good old America, at one time, but I put that under the same category with "Santa Claws"," Easter Bunnies", Integration, Equal Rites, and the existence of 'virgins", in the wild. As I have been around for over 66 yrs. and have seen not nice things here in the South, between blacks and whites, Viet Nam, for 4 fun filled years, I have concluded that if there is a democracy, it is in "stealth mode" or using its "cloaking device" and it is only seen or cited when compared to forms of government that are more dangerous than it is to people in general, and the powerless in particular. Ancient Greece was closer to the ideal than our founder fathers were in 1776, thought we were taught to believe they were the best and the brightest of civilization at that time. A good dictatorship might get us to appreciate what we have and make plans that when power got returned to the people, it would be done right this time. It is still a 'work in progress', and everyone seems clueless as to when it might get working as it was thought it was supposed to do when created.

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A major problem of course is that we reward people that seek power. We should pick our leadership, but its dangerous to pick a leader that wants the job. The best people for the job don't actually want it. I don't know exactly how to remedy it. A jury duty like system has its problems as well, but if I see a see a person seeking power over others I instantly mistrust them. The best people I know simply want to live in peace. .

Edited by White Crane Feather
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Here’s a video about not voting. The Interviewer J.Paxman is renown in the UK as giving every interviewee a hard time and Brand actually wins him over! I’m afraid rightwing UMers he mentions the Environment, High Taxation for Corps and SOCIALISM!!

'If the Climate was a bank, we would have already fixed it.' H.Chavez

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But you ask the average person about these policies and reveal their policies to them and they're second guessing themselves. You see it time and time again of people actively going out asking the average joe on the street and he doesn't know which policy belongs to what party.

Exposure to both parties "what you want to hears" and the media showing selective information is a key reason for this.

You're right, we do see it over and over again. And I always marvel at how incredibly dumb people can be about some really important stuff. I have a hard time putting all the blame on the media when there are other resources of information and education available to the average voter. Even now there are people who believe Iraq was responsible for 9/11, even though there is plenty of easily accessible evidence that proves otherwise. One of the things about a democracy is that it works best when everyone is informed, but if people don't bother to put the effort into doing that we're not always going to be happy with the outcomes. I wonder, is it brainwashing if there is no coercion?

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A major problem of course is that we reward people that seek power. We should pick our leadership, but its dangerous to pick a leader that wants the job. The best people for the job don't actually want it. I don't know exactly how to remedy it. A jury duty like system has its problems as well, but if I see a see a person seeking power over others I instantly mistrust them. The best people I know simply want to live in peace. .

There's a sci fi book, Childhood's End, I think, where the leader was chosen by lottery, and the only people ineligible were those who actually wanted the job. Good leadership doesn't include power-over, but governments are structured in a hierarchal way that automatically confers it. How do we, or can we, restructure our government so that it better serves all the millions of citizens and the needs, wants, and interests of such diversity?

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There's a sci fi book, Childhood's End, I think, where the leader was chosen by lottery, and the only people ineligible were those who actually wanted the job. Good leadership doesn't include power-over, but governments are structured in a hierarchal way that automatically confers it. How do we, or can we, restructure our government so that it better serves all the millions of citizens and the needs, wants, and interests of such diversity?

You can't. In my opinion You create a small government with very specific rules of conduct. No one has any really power. Governments stay out of people's live and are there to ensure the rights of others and the protection of resources. It's what the United States was intended to be, but has strayed very far from it. The problem with modern capitalism is that it does not address externalities very-well so corporations are allowed to run amuk and impose costs onto society. If we actually flowed real economic understanding much of the problems we have woukd be eliminated.

I like the idea of separation of powers. I wouldn't mind more separation. But we have to take competition out of the process. I'm not sure how though. I have a few ideas, but ultimately it's very complex and dynamic and the are unforeseen consequences to everything.

I do reject socialism though. Not because I think it's wrong. The idea appeals to me actually, and I wouldn't mind living that way. But the facts are what they are. Human nature is what it is, and unless you change that first socialism simply dosnt work. All major socialist country's in the world have the most pollution, most corrupt governments, and the most poverty. It's been tried before and simply dosnt work.

Also all this business about the 1% ers is absolutely misleading. 1% of the people control the money not own it. This mean your mutual fund managers and CEOs of major corporations. We own those corporations. If you have a 401k you are an owner in those company's. CEOs do not own the corporation. They are subject to the board of directors, which are voted in that position like a democracy. It's not perfect. But people fail to see how the big bad corporations work. True.. I think they should be regulated better withing the tenants of economic theory, but other things also need to be relaxed. I'm a libertarian at heart. Governments should only have the power that they need to protect and serve. Nothing more. people simply cannot be trusted with real power. History shows us this Time and time again.

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Pure democracy is simply mob rule or as the saying goes: it's three wolves and two sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

We were given a Representative Republic by or founders, "IF," as Ben Franklin said, "We can keep it."

We have always been a nation of laws, and it is troubling that the longer I live, the less I see our government enforcing laws. When our president decides he will not enforce immigration laws, or drug laws, or the Marriage Protection laws, simply because he does not like them, then we no longer have a country ruled by law, we have a country ruled by the whims of whoever happens to be in power at that time. When the executive branch of our government usurps Congress and makes law, rather than enforcing laws we have something less that a Representative Republic; you can call it whatever you like. It really doesn't matter whether you and I agree with these laws or not, if they have been voted on as per our system of government and duly passed, then they should be enforced, and if they are found wanting in their scope or purpose or if the public sentiment about these laws changes, they they should be repealed or changed by the legal process. But this willy-nilly enforcement is just crazy and throws the law into confusion for the individual as well as the state.

Edited by Sundew

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You're right, we do see it over and over again. And I always marvel at how incredibly dumb people can be about some really important stuff. I have a hard time putting all the blame on the media when there are other resources of information and education available to the average voter. Even now there are people who believe Iraq was responsible for 9/11, even though there is plenty of easily accessible evidence that proves otherwise. One of the things about a democracy is that it works best when everyone is informed, but if people don't bother to put the effort into doing that we're not always going to be happy with the outcomes. I wonder, is it brainwashing if there is no coercion?

The media know the state of this and exploit it. They are part of the system. We need to change the system in order to make it fairer. At the very least a campaign budget cap to ensure the big two don't flood everything and leave the other parties or individuals a whisper in the wind.

I think it comes from disinterest from the idea of one or the other. The idea that is spread around that of you don't vote for either of them you're wasting your vote.

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Pure democracy is simply mob rule or as the saying goes: it's three wolves and two sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

We were given a Representative Republic by or founders, "IF," as Ben Franklin said, "We can keep it."

We have always been a nation of laws, and it is troubling that the longer I live, the less I see our government enforcing laws. When our president decides he will not enforce immigration laws, or drug laws, or the Marriage Protection laws, simply because he does not like them, then we no longer have a country ruled by law, we have a country ruled by the whims of whoever happens to be in power at that time. When the executive branch of our government usurps Congress and makes law, rather than enforcing laws we have something less that a Representative Republic; you can call it whatever you like. It really doesn't matter whether you and I agree with these laws or not, if they have been voted on as per our system of government and duly passed, then they should be enforced, and if they are found wanting in their scope or purpose or if the public sentiment about these laws changes, they they should be repealed or changed by the legal process. But this willy-nilly enforcement is just crazy and throws the law into confusion for the individual as well as the state.

There have been a lot of laws that were by their nature discriminatory, bias, or racist, and should not have been enforced. Slavery, women legally barred from owning and controlling their own property, real estate covenants designed to keep out minorities, people of color, Jews, etc, discriminatory laws in the Southern states. Some of these laws were eventually declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Oh yeah, now we have the stand your ground laws, voter ID laws designed to keep the poor and minorities from the polling places. I would hope to heck we have leaders who have the moral conviction to stand up to bias, prejudice, self-interested majority. Change the laws, when a minority group like the Tea Party exercises its power and holds the legislative process hostage and tries to force its own politics on the majority? Politicians and leaders in the US have always ignored laws if it's to their advantage or if they deem it to be of benefit to the country at large. Japanese concentration camps in the US, like Manzanar, where constitutional right were ignored, the Homeland security act, which violates just about everybody's right, introduced and passed during the Bush administration? The Iran-Contra scandal? Watergate? Joe McCarthy? And the Reagan administration had more people convicted of crimes than any other administration in the last 75 years. No, we haven't always been a nation to be obedient to the law.

Hey, democracy is messy, imperfect, just like its citizens and leaders. And we have a fine tradition of civil disobedience and protest that I think serves us well. And to reduce our president's actions to "whim" is less than he deserves. I could apply that to all the politicians with whom I have a bone to pick, but can't see where that's helpful to the conversation.

Edited by Beany

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