Sunday, August 28, 2011

In Democracy We Distrust?

Russell Dalton at the beginning his book Citizen Politics mentions that trust and satisfaction with democracy has been on the decline in recent years. This finding is not exactly the earth shattering revelation that some people have made it out to be. Democracy is a messy phenomenon and as the saying goes “the people get the government they deserve.” Collectively as a country, if we vote for a divided government than a divided government we shall have. This has been no more borne out than by the struggles the United States Congress has had in doing much of anything since it was sworn in after the 2010 elections.

People all over the world have similar complaints with fractured parliamentary systems that have to accommodate three, four, and five parties, leading to deadlocks and/or smaller parties being labeled kingmakers in the parliamentary system. Is this a failure of democracy or people though?

 Democracy as an institution isn’t broken, the choices people make within the system are the problem, if your so dissatisfied with divided government and slow parliamentary processes than you need to use the democratic process to get one party in a position to do everything…BUT WAIT! If we do that then the minority voice is held down and the majority is accused of sledge hammering an agenda through Congress or Parliament and people are than mad at democracy because it produced a dominant party that doesn’t respect the minority view.

Democracy doesn’t equal perfection, far from it. The question that needs to be asked is “If not democracy, than what governmental system would you want”? I know maybe we should all admit we where wrong all these years and that Communism with all its’ repression and censorship was the right form of government or maybe Gaddafi and Mubarak weren’t such bad guys after all.

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