Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Democratic Falsehoods

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

Winston Churchill
  1. The manifesto of the winning party is always implemented... No it isn't - so how do we choose which party to vote for?
  2. MPs reflect the opinions of the majority in their constituency... How do they know?
  3. MPs always act on their convictions... So what are the party whips for?
  4. MPs always tell the truth... And there's no such thing as spin?
  5. Your vote can sway the result... Your vote is one in many hundreds of thousands and carries little influence.
  6. Anyone can become a Member of Parliament... There are only 640 odd seats in the commons, so the odds are pretty slim.
  7. All aspects of an argument are presented in debate... Points of view are as diverse as peoples experiences and can never be fully communicated in debate.
  8. All pertinent information is presented and analysed by Parliament... Information is virtually infinite and decisions can never be fully informed.
  9. Parliament makes logical and rational decisions... There is no set of standards for decision making as would be the case in, say, testing an aircraft wing structure to ensure safety.
  10. Politicians are experts in decision making... And are well qualified in statistical analysis?
  11. Politicians are mostly altruistic... Freud may disagree - he identified many sub-conscious motivators.
  12. Consequences of decisions can be predicted and fully considered by dedicated professional politicians... Consequences can never be fully predicted because of chaos and complexity theory.
  13. Politicians represent the will of the people... How do they know what the majority want?
  14. A small group of intelligent politicians make better decisions than a large group of average people... Large groups of dissimilar people have more experience to draw on than a small group with similar experiences.
  15. Multi-faceted decisions, such as those in a General Election can be calculated rationally... Multi-faceted decisions are much harder to decide than single issues.

(Politicians have special skills that are needed in Interactive Democracy and, despite the above comments, I feel it is everyone's duty to vote.)

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