Thursday, 3 December 2009

Freedom of the Minority or Control by the Majority?

Would Interactive Democracy encourage the majority to lay down the law against minorities? Would there be a loss of liberal freedoms?

It may be that by encouraging political debate amongst the wider population, individuals begin to change their views and realise that what they value isn't necessarily what other people hold dear. This understanding of the variation of human ideals could have a liberalising effect. On the other hand, vociferous debate can be polarising. (Please see this post about Group Polarisation.)

If Parliament were able to list the pros and cons of each issue I suspect this would have the effect of helping to remove the emotion from the national debate, foster rationalism, reduce polarisation and encourage understanding. This list would presented at the point of voting. Others, with strong convictions, may offer different, more stringent, leadership.

In the UK we have a strong liberal (small 'L') tradition, perhaps encouraged by the Golden Rule and the necessities of 60 million people living on a small island. I suspect this cultural identity would emerge in ballots that could, if allowed, limit the freedoms of minorities.

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