Democracy, in the forms it's employed across the globe, is bullshit. The concepts and ideas are great, but when it boils down to the nitty gritty - actually running a country in it and it's people's best interest - the system fails. The reason for this is because politicians don't do what's best for the country and voters, they do what they believe will gain them a point or two in public favour. Or they work on creating law tailored to the 1%, pushed by lobbying groups, donations and (very likely) all kinds of backhand deals. Sadly, these actions are normally in direct correlation to the countries overall interests.
Take my homeland, the UK, for example. Europe is a hot topic here currently with a worryingly large proportion of the population wanting to exit. The problem is people generally aren't wll versed enough on the subject to make that decision - Europe is essential to our economic power. Yes, we can leave and keep up the various trade agreements - but do we really think the other EU countries will allow this? So, the great Cameron, thinking not about his country or economy, but his popularity alone, offered up a referrendum to the UK population: are we in or are we out of Europe? I, for one, desperately hope we vote in - but it could go either way.
Another example from the UK, and a real sore issue for students - the other great leader, Cleg, promised during his election run and coalition development that university fees would not change. Oh really, Mr Cleg? Now that they've been trippled, it certainly seems like you were bullshitting the whole country to get votes. No wonder your party has plummeted to the bottom of the serious-players ladder, where it deserves to remain.
Now for America, the land of the (supposedly) free. Through an over-complicated and potentially corrupt voting system, the great Obama has been sworn in twice. Now, Obama certainly had some excellent ideas (Medicare) - but the rest of the government (particularly the Republicans) decided that free/affordable healthcare for the majority of the country was... too expensive for the top of it. Seriously? In what world is that democracy.
To be fair, Obama has made his own fair bit of bullshit - check out this list of 23 failed promises. I particularly like this one:
My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.
So what is there to do? I've only looked at two countries but I'm certain these problems affect pretty much every democracy in existance. Here are my (naive) suggestions:
- Use proportional representation across the whole country. Yes, you're meant to vote for your local/regional official - but everyone knows we vote for the leader.
- Allow top leaders to only ever serve a single term running the country. This stops their desire to become popular for the next election run, and allows them to focus on the job in hand: running the country for it and it's people's best interests.
- Ban/limit the money parties can receive for election campaigns - democracy shouldn't be a contests of whose got the deepest pockets.