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Democracy

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Do we like democracy?
Yes
54%
 54%  [ 17 ]
No
6%
 6%  [ 2 ]
Meh...
38%
 38%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 31

Quaintly Ignorant
67547.  Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:41 pm Reply with quote

And I thought Voltaire....

If I remember I know someone to ask.

</pointless post>

EDIT:
Quote:
"A democracy is a sheep and two wolves deciding on what to have for
lunch. Freedom is a well armed sheep contesting the results of the
decision."
Benjamin Franklin

 
djgordy
67548.  Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:58 pm Reply with quote

It was Ben Franklin and the entire quote is:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"


He also said the following, which some people may find relevant to the Patriot Act in the US and the introduction of ID cards and various 'anti-terror' laws in the UK.

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety."

 
sappho
70197.  Wed May 17, 2006 2:27 am Reply with quote

My main issue is that we only use it for voting purposes and as a means for the public to gain access to politicians. We do not use democracy as it was intended.

Take for example the two party preferred system. Where is the democracy in that. One group of people aim to appose the other whether or not the idea on the table is good or not. More than that, should I vote for a person that did not make it into power, then my vote no longer counts for very much as my representative no longer has a vote.

Democracy does not work that way. Democracy would want for the idea to be discussed and then for the decision to impliment to go to the vote of all who were voted to represent the people.

Take the two party system again. There is a head of the party who decides what goes and what doesn't. Agreed that the head is influenced by his/ her party, but that the head is head and decides the course of the party is not disputable. This is unfair voting privilage, that one has over the other. Is the head's constituancy better than the rest - more superior maybe? Is that why he has more democracy that the rest?

And so it goes. Ultimately for democracy to work is cannot have a party system or two to undermine the power of the vote. It must have in its ranks individuals who work for their constituants exclusively, who vote for their constituants exclusively, who have the power to act for their constituants.

 
Linda
70225.  Wed May 17, 2006 5:07 am Reply with quote

I tend to agree with what Sappho said.
Also one of my favorite sayings is "Don't vote....the government might get in!"

Linda

 
roamingfree
70226.  Wed May 17, 2006 5:08 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:


During the course of an attempt to construct an idealised system of government for a role playing game it occurred to me that I was creating a vast bureaucracy to ‘ensure’ that my perfect system ran without untoward influences and that this was probably counter-productive.


I believe there is a mathematical proof that no "fair" voting system can exist - I remember reading about it in a mathematical logic course I once took.

 
suze
70236.  Wed May 17, 2006 5:51 am Reply with quote

There is indeed. It's called Arrow's Theorem, named after the American mathematical economist who devised it for his PhD.

It's explained reasonably well here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A520372

but be warned that it's rather mathematical.

What it basically shows is that if one takes these four premises:
1. An individual is at liberty to place the various parties (or whatever) in any order of preference he chooses
2. Irrelevant alternatives are independent (this is a bit complicated, but very roughly, if an individual is only going to vote either Conservative or Labour, his decision between the two is not influenced by anything the Liberals say or do)
3. The party for which the most people vote will win the most seats in the election
4. There is no one person who can determine the result of the election alone

it is impossible to devise a voting system which satisfies all of them.

 
Tas
70240.  Wed May 17, 2006 6:04 am Reply with quote

You can't please all the people, all of the time. But, in a Democracy, at least you have a voice to raise your concerns and voice a difference of opinion. One person can change things, if he or she gets enough votes.

:-)

Tas

 
QI Individual
70269.  Wed May 17, 2006 7:57 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
One person can change things, if he or she gets enough votes.

Which can be rather worrying if for instance that person is George Dubya.

 
mckeonj
70324.  Wed May 17, 2006 12:32 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
4. There is no one person who can determine the result of the election alone.

I recall a SF story read many years ago, can't remember the title, but it might have been by Asimov, because it involves a global computer system called Multivac. That dates the story to vacuum tube technology, around 1948, oddly the publication date of Orwell's '1984'.
The central character is a 'Joe Citizen' type who has been selected by Multivac to be The Typical Voter. All he has to do is be interviewed by Multivac and answer a number of questions. Multivac then analyses his responses and selects a government which will carry out the measures which Multivac has formulated from those responses.
In other words, democracy by single elector.
It's just as frightening as '1984'.

 
Tas
70361.  Thu May 18, 2006 3:40 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Which can be rather worrying if for instance that person is George Dubya.


I thought he did not get enough votes......allegedly!

:-)

Tas

 
Stefan Linnemann
73773.  Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:56 pm Reply with quote

[quote=Gray]AMERICAN DEMOCRACY [/quote]

There is no such thing, of course, the form of government of the Untidy States of North-America is "a mockery". That's defined as a two-party system where it doesn't make a difference whih "party" gets put in power.

And no, I'm not citing anyone else, this one's all mine.

Stefan.

 
brianl
73854.  Sun Jun 11, 2006 3:30 pm Reply with quote

‘Democracy’ originates from the Greek word demokratia. Its root meanings are demos, or people, and kratos, or rule. Simply put, democracy is a form of government in which the people rule.

The tricky bit is determining what constitutes 'people' and 'rule'. Of course no modern government is strictly speaking, democratic. The only real example are the Greek city-states, and then qualified by the limits on suffrage.

As an interesting aside, the word parliament is from the French parler (to speak) the oldest parliament is associated with the Isle of Mann (the Tynwald), dating from 979AD. The Icelandic Alþingi is older (930AD) but lacks a continuous history. Presumably they stopped for tea for a few decades,

 
sappho
125583.  Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:59 pm Reply with quote

Further to the above is that it actually worked. What did work in the ancient greek society were some of the democratic decisions that were made such as limiting the capacity of foriegner's to be come citizens of Athens etc.... They were too culturally exclussive.

Rome took the alturnative track and as a result thrived as they had the extra man power needed for defense and attack.

What ever the case. Democracy was limited only by the capacity of it's thinkers as are all political and social systems. But it worked and worked well in representing constituants.

As to the voting systems, why would not a pick one and only one, with that vote counting only as one vote without preferences, not work?

 
indigo fugit
133485.  Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:39 am Reply with quote

Colonel Krummhorn wrote:
Democracy is good, but it is also democracy that reduced 'Merry Christmas' to 'Happy Festive Season'.



Democracy is the worst of all worlds.

It is mob rule.

I am devising a system, which I will call ‘Benign Autocracy’ where everybody’s best friend rules.

I’ll get back to you when it is perfected

 
dr.bob
133498.  Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:06 am Reply with quote

sappho wrote:
Further to the above is that it actually worked. What did work in the ancient greek society were some of the democratic decisions that were made such as limiting the capacity of foriegner's to be come citizens of Athens etc.... They were too culturally exclussive.


I just realised I'm being taught about ancient greece by someone called Sappho and wondered if I'd slipped through a time rift or something :)

 

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