Thursday, March 1, 2007

How To Run The Country?

I think there's enough evidence now to show that democracy doesn't really work that well. I mean it's not awful, but it's far from perfect. There's been a lot of death and destruction to get us to democracy, which has been a jolly good thing to achieve, but is there any reason to rest on our laurels and not try to go one better?
In principle, democracy is absolutely fine. No arguing with that. However, there is one obvious flaw, and that is the people who do the voting. They keep getting it wrong.

Bush. Two terms in office. One term was carelessness. Two just shows the voters don't know what they're doing. Similarly with Blair, he seemed a reasonable cove to start off with (well, not to me, I never liked him) but it soon became apparent he was as bad as the rest, indeed possibly worse. When you're that dangerously self deluded, you really shouldn't be allowed near the reins of power.
So, how to make it better. You can see democracy in action these days most clearly in the ubiquitous TV phone in vote. All too often (but not always... there's always a fluke correct result now and then) the wrong person wins things like Big Brother or the endless dancing competitions.

And again on TV you can get to see the general public at their worst. The Jeremy Kyle Show is a good example. As a piece of entertainment it's hard to beat. I have to actively stop myself watching it, because once you've started you can't take your eyes off the screen. The participants are SO awful... basically it's a modern day freak show. But there's an endless supply of these people, and they've all got the vote you know.

In life, at every turn, you're asked to prove yourself before you're allowed to do tricky things. 'O' levels. 'A' levels, a degree before you can apply for a job. Interviews. Driving Tests. Applying for a loan.

How is it, therefore, that you can be allowed to vote without having to prove in anyway that your knuckles are not scraping the ground, and that there is at least a minimum number of brain cells buzzing around your noggin with which to make this important decision.

Okay, I don't know exactly how to test if someone is fit to vote, but I'm sure we could come up with something. Maybe we don't completely disallow the stupid from voting, just weigh their vote less. And I'm not talking about educational achievement here... no, we need to test someone ability to think it through. Some very 'clever' people may well fail the test.

Last night I caught a snippet of a program on Blair. Apparently president Chirac said to him that if he (Blair) continued to support the Americans and went to war on Iraq without the support of the UN, then little Leo Blair would grow up not thanking him for it. This stopped Blair in his tracks... but only momentarily. Maybe he should have thought about that bit of wisdom a little longer.

I realise hindsight is 20-20, but it seemed obvious that war on Iraq would end in tears. Maybe Blair, therefore, would fail my democracy test. Maybe I would. But if we thought the process out really well, we'd end up with a better government, I'm sure of it.

Democracy is great, but MORE THINKING is required. Don't you think?

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