It’s not that I don’t believe in Democracy, but the way we work it these days is a big flaw. The direction we are moving towards promises nothing but catastrophe, and we need to adjust our headings. For a long time I’ve been arguing much about emotional decision making, and now, it is more evident than ever, that deciding with our emotions is like digging ourselves deeper into the whole we’re already in.
If I can take a few months break from work, I’d invest much into writing a book and titling it “The Breakdown of Democracy.” I wish I could start writing right now, because the signs of beginning of the end of democracies as we know is down right obvious today. Let me explain, and let me give you some cases to seriously think about.
Democracy, as widely known, is when people elect and re-elect their representatives in decision-making posts. Hence, they will cast their vote for the person that promises them the most. The people who elect those representatives are largely employees, and in some cases, employees in labor unions. Labor in the private and public sectors, who make up the majority of the middle and lower classes, in general always want to get paid more and work less.
Therefore, the electorate in general would always favor policies that expand the public services provided to them, tax exemptions and cuts, and more labor rights. In France, for example, the maximum hours employees are allowed to work in a week are 35 hours. They also really enjoy a 2 hours lunch break every day!
Public officials in the governments are very much interested in re-elections and somehow do not worry much about bad economic policies they come up with as long as it won’t smell till they’re out of office. So, without having enough money, they continue handing out tax cuts to the general population while keeping or even increasing all the free stuff they give out. This makes people happy, until the time comes when there is no more cash in the bank.
The problem with too much of the democracy potion is that real and tough decisions aren’t being made. The potion transfers public officials into sissies where they champion themselves regularly when a simple policy is passed, for PR that is. The reason is simple, it goes back to an emotional electorate who wants stuff, not problems.
You see, government work is full of issues being faced every day. That is why officials go to work, to solve them and make sure that the economic engine is calibrated between generating money for the government and giving back goods and services to the public. Economists know that, they know what it takes to make nations more productive and competitive because they add a very important ingredient to their advice, rationalism.
Politicians, on the other hand, have the upper hand. In most cases, they consider economic decisions ‘Political Suicide”, a term that used to suggest an end to a public official’s career if he/she would make a move that would anger his constituents.
There is no problem paying attention to our emotions, the drawback is when we do not realize that we are not harmonizing our rationale with our emotions. If democracy wants to survive the current economic failure in Europe, it has to evolve into making way for rational policies that we do not ‘feel’ strongly about. Tough decisions would have to be made, and if they’re not made in consensus, then they’ll be made in closed doors, by unelected officials, and without you knowing.
When countries are in survival modes, the smiles disappear, and so do the democratic la de da.For more on this, please read “Le catastrophe! A hated leader. Violent protests. Wealth creators Fleeing abroad. After a year of socialism, France’s meltdown is a stark warning to anyone who wants Red Ed as PM”
It seems to me that you wrote this in a gloomy mood, my friend.
Far from it, you’re wrong but it’s all part of a process that has its fluctuations since the beginning of human communities.
Come visit me to Montenegro, rideyour bike at great trails, at the mountains and by the sea, swim, enjoy, fill yourself with positive energy, let democracy take care for itself. 🙂
I don’t like it when groups of people are hesitant into making tough productive and must policies that will benefit everyone.
I have been following your blog for quite a while now, and I find the articles to be a very interesting mix of sports, politics and humour. I like how you present different points of view, and how regardless of your personal views you always follow a policy of Audi Alteram Partem (Let the other side be heard too) ☺