Democracy is often presented as being beyond criticism. Indeed, it is surely something to unfailingly defend.
Yet, democracy has been questioned and criticised by some notable thinkers and political figures.
Perhaps the most cutting criticism is attributed to Winston Churchill who reportedly said:
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.
I wonder if the great man was on to something?
It is the nature of democracy that the combined intellect of a diverse nation, from idiot to intellectual equips the collective decision maker with an IQ of around 100.
The irony being – who among them would knowingly vote for a decision maker with an IQ of 100?
Democracy in its various forms is undoubtedly flawed. Which is why it is administered sparingly to the masses, and the will of the electorate, subject to varying interpretation by politicians and media commentariat alike.
Mark Twain, clearly understood this when he said:
“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
Democracy, imperfect though it is, and tokenistic in its application, remains the bedrock of western society.
It affords the citizen a sense of belonging and a semblance of influence, together with a drum to beat and a sabre to rattle once every few years.
The one area of immutable political cross-party consensus is that democracy is great……provided it seems, that there’s not too much of it!