Friday, June 18, 2010



"Democracy is the worst political system, except for all the others." Winston Churchill et al.

John Adams, letter to John Taylor (15 April 1814)
"We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both"

George F. Kennan, in American Diplomacy (1951)
"You may fool all the people some of the time; ... some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time".

Attributed to Abraham Lincoln by Alexander K. McClure (1904) "Abe" Lincoln's Yarns and Stories.
"If Voting Changed Anything They'd Abolish It."

Greens talk about consensus decision making as the ideal and it is good when it happens, but who is the final arbiter of consensus?

Who decides when consensus is reached? What is the final arbiter! Democracy means decisions taken by all. Consensus is one method but when consensus fails do we abide by the decisions of all  taken by such methods as BCIR or do we abide by decisions of politicians who seem to get it spectacularly wrong most of the time.
At the moment we have so called representative democracy which simply means we have a choice of dictatorship every three years. If most people do not like what they are doing you have little choice but to elect the opposite party who may or may not reverse what has been done.
Just because you may or may not like the results of a recent BCIR is no reason to say that is the wrong way to run a democratic system. The majority are more likely to get it right than a minority of power hungry self centred idealoges in Parliament. How many of the things imposed on us by Labour and National have been in the best interests of more than a few narrow groups in NZ. The sheer arrogance of politicians and journalists contempt for the "great unwashed" and the inability to give up power to the governed is behind most of the objections to citizens having a say in Government.
The Swiss system on the whole runs very well. Including protecting minorities. There has been hiccups with BCIR in California, but not in many other places where it is used. The Icelanders telling the banks to get s-fed was great.
We need more power devolved to the voters..
People who have voting power will also demand better information from politicians and journalists.

" In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had 500 years of democracy and peace -- and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock".
Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man, 1949.

But which one would you rather live in?

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