The Trouble with Democracy

Thursday 22nd January

The trouble with Democracy is that it isn’t.  It ‘aint even close.  We have been sold a pup. A vote every five years to elect a representative who will ignore most of their parties’ Manifesto and be dealing with things that nobody even mentioned at the time of the election.  We are simply rubber stamping or rejecting, we are not in any way engaging in decisions which fundamentally affect our lives.  This system was put in place, with a few amendments, over a couple of hundred years ago, when it would have been impractical to actually ask people’s opinions, even if the idea had ever occurred to our rulers.  But hey, we are all connected now.  We have 24 hour rolling news channels; we have the internet; we have mobile phones.  So why not actually let the people decide.

There is no reason at all why internet voting in elections could not be feasible, except that it would inevitably open the floodgates to more voting (which may be why it hasn’t happened).  The Scottish referendum was brilliant, because it actually involved people.  Everyone had to think about their future, it really mattered.  And that is the real trouble with our form of ‘Democracy’.  Most people know that their vote won’t count, and that the Politicians will do what they want anyway.  But rather than just shrug our shoulders, why not change things.  Under my ideas all important changes to the status quo would have to be subject to a final approval via internet voting. (Public libraries could be used for people lacking internet access, with trained staff helping computer ‘unsavvy’ voters)  Of course there would be mass lobbying by the Press and vested interests to influence voting, but we have that now and still occasionally there are decent people elected.  It might just work.  It might get the couch potatoes slightly interested.  People might realize that they can actually influence their own futures.  It would certainly appeal to young people.  And it may just be the only way we will ever combat Corporations running the World and eventually destroying us all through Global Warming, which the vast majority of people want to happen – but nobody at all is showing them the way it can be done.