Following on from the discussion regarding the Perils of Capitalism, it is worth considering the assumption that democracy is the best form of earthly government. As Australia undergoes Rudd vs. Gillard Part II, many voters are asking the question, “When I voted Rudd in 2007, why did I get Gillard? Or “When I voted for Gillard in 2010, why might I get Rudd?” The reality is that pure democracy of the masses is not accurate. Rather it is democracy of a chosen few that select the leader. Or to be more candid, it is factions – not our representatives – within parties that appoint kings or queens.
Or to put it another way, why can politicians blatantly tell lies during election or in post-election campaigns, and then claim mandates to do the opposite? It is no wonder that many have concluded that democracy is a facade.
The US system of democracy is different but just as flawed. In the GOP primary season, the establishment is trying to force their chosen candidate – Romney – on an electorate who appears to want ‘anyone but Romney’. It will be interesting to see if the will of the people or the money of the establishment will win.
But let’s expand the analysis of ‘democracy’ beyond our borders and current circumstances. The most recent Iraq War and Afghanistan War along with the revolutions in Lybia and Egypt, received much of their justification on the basis that the West was bringing democracy (read a better form of government) to those regions. But on what basis do we decide that democracy is superior?
Here are 3 big perils for democratic forms of governance
- It is based on the fact that the majority are right. When the majority are no longer godly, democracy is an oppressive system.
- It leads to short term politically based policies and programs. Rather than what is best for society’s long term health (debt filled binges so pollies get re-elected rather than sober governance)
- It incents politicians to slander, lie and be negative to achieve popularity around election time (e.g. carbon tax, etc)
Historically democracy has worked well in the west. A high level of freedom has existed in the US, Australia and parts of Europe. However, I would suppose this has more to do with the Christian heritage of the majority of the population rather than democracy. We should be thankful for Australia’s Christian democratic heritage, but let’s focus on more on the Christian part and less on the democratic part.