Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Group Think

Psychologists are clear that groups can behave in ways that are sometimes brutal, immoral and irrational; ways that wouldn't normally be considered by most individuals. It is more likely when decisions are made by a small insular group of similar people, under stress and with a dominant leader, such as a Cabinet with an autocratic Prime Minister. This is a potential problem for Democracy and is countered by various social apparatus: a free press, competing political parties, Parliament, an independent judiciary, a police force that applies the law with integrity and of course, Elections. It is also countered by mature and thoughtful Ministers who genuinely look towards their electorate as the seat of their power and seek information from a variety of sources in order to make decisions.

In a diverse society, Interactive Democracy offers another safeguard to Group Think, improved by people voting in private and without peer pressure.

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