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  1. #41
    Senior Member Dooraven's Avatar
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    Democracy in all ways is an idealistic system, but it is also currently the best system we have at the moment.

    We've tried dictators, caliphates, rajahs or whatever you wish to call them but ultimately while there might have been some very very good dictators (Augustus Caesar/ Julius Caesar) eventually however we have seen hereditary succession create more problems than its worth.

    I do believe that a benevolent dictator is probably the best form of government but it too is an idealistic view. There are many difficulties with that approach.

    1. How are we to find this "benevolent dictator"?
    2. What is to say that this benevolent dictator won't turn nasty.

    The Parliament is a good way of keeping checks and balance on this issue. We can elect a president - if he does a good job than lets keep him elected (I really think term limits are stupid.) If he doesn't vote him out.
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  2. #42
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    I'd say the current system of representative democracy is a means of assuaging the internal conflicts that arise from industrialized capitalism. People aren't angry about being constantly screwed over if they either feel they have a voice in the system, or can vote themselves enough panem et circenses to keep comfortable. Meanwhile, the actual owners of society can negotiate their interests without having to worry about potential populist revolts.

  3. #43
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    I agree that the majority opinion can't be assumed to be the best, but the reason democracy works the best so far, and probably the reason it's so popular, isn't that it operates upon that principle anyway. The winning vote has only the broadest of influences on the direction a country goes in, and most people know it. Doesn't stop them favouring democracy.

    Modern systems of democracy just give our rulers an incentive to treat their populations more decently than they may otherwise care to, and keep wannabe despots from bothering to apply. They know that if they make enough people unhappy enough with them, they'll lose office. It's not really about citizens getting to influence which policies are implemented by voting, otherwise election promises and the breaking of them would be taken a hell of a lot more seriously by everyone concerned.

    As it is, the only way to hold a politician to account for changing their policies after getting elected is for the population to not vote for them next time as a direct result, which doesn't usually happen anyway and isn't a threat that deters any of them. They know people aren't primarily interested in punishing politicians for that when they vote, so they can get away with it.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by compulsiverambler View Post
    Modern systems of democracy just give our rulers an incentive to treat their populations more decently than they may otherwise care to, and keep wannabe despots from bothering to apply. They know that if they make enough people unhappy enough with them, they'll lose office. It's not really about citizens getting to influence which policies are implemented by voting, otherwise election promises and the breaking of them would be taken a hell of a lot more seriously by everyone concerned.

    As it is, the only way to hold a politician to account for changing their policies after getting elected is for the population to not vote for them next time as a direct result, which doesn't usually happen anyway and isn't a threat that deters any of them. They know people aren't primarily interested in punishing politicians for that when they vote, so they can get away with it.
    Unless I'm reading this wrong it sounds like you contradict yourself. At first you say that if they make people unhappy they'll lose office, but then you say that people are not interested in punishing politicians by changing their votes, thereby removing them from office.

    I would say that politicians are rather eager to retain as many voters as possible. Votes are often based on emotional viewpoints and momentum can quickly erode one's popularity. But it's not always possible (or ideal) to carry through on everything promised, so people accept these lofty promises as part of the political game.

  5. #45
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    Unless I'm reading this wrong it sounds like you contradict yourself. At first you say that if they make people unhappy they'll lose office, but then you say that people are not interested in punishing politicians by changing their votes, thereby removing them from office.
    The 'for that' in my last sentence was significant. What makes people most unhappy isn't politicians breaking their promises, as it would be if popular opinion determining specific policy decisions were really the issue; it's the effects of whichever policies they do implement, as promised or not. So politicians in democratic systems just have to be seen to be not making things worse for people than the opposition would. Most people will soon forget the details of their election speeches anyway.

    The voters' primary concern is quality of life and which party they think can best deliver that for them based on the broad direction their policies seem to be aiming in. They know that many of these policies will be forgotten or reversed, but what can they do? It may annoy them that politicians break their promises, but that doesn't decide their vote, because all parties do it, and their priority has to be what each party is promising for the future as the party that promises to do something (or not to) will be at least a little more likely to than the party that doesn't.

  6. #46
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Pft of course democracy, in its' most open ended and "equal" form isn't the 'best' way. Seriously, give someone who's illiterate and failed grade 3 about 6 times in a row then dropped out, the exact same value on their vote as the economics professor at a university?

    In whot way does that make this seem like a GOOD idea? XD

    The only thing good about it is that it encourages that the lowest common denominator has the most control. The people who have the least idea of whot they really need are given the most weight on controlling whot they get.

    Exactly how does this make for the 'best' system?

    No, it's anything but a 'great' system. But it does appease most people to some degree, and keeps the majority of people relatively placated. It serves a purpose, just not the most beneficial one.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Dooraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    Pft of course democracy, in its' most open ended and "equal" form isn't the 'best' way. Seriously, give someone who's illiterate and failed grade 3 about 6 times in a row then dropped out, the exact same value on their vote as the economics professor at a university?

    In whot way does that make this seem like a GOOD idea? XD

    The only thing good about it is that it encourages that the lowest common denominator has the most control. The people who have the least idea of whot they really need are given the most weight on controlling whot they get.

    Exactly how does this make for the 'best' system?

    No, it's anything but a 'great' system. But it does appease most people to some degree, and keeps the majority of people relatively placated. It serves a purpose, just not the most beneficial one.
    Yes Pure Democracy is flawed as it is far too idealistic and it wastes too much time debating for the sake of debating and nothing much ever gets done.

    All populist agendas are also flawed in believing in the "goodwill and intelligence of humankind" and yet most elitist agendas are just restricting access to those who are eligible.

    Democracy is practical enough for most countries to adopt a tainted democracy where some peoples voices are heard more than others.

    What system is there in our current modern society that you believe is a better alternative to Democracy? A benevolent dictator might work - the problem is finding him
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  8. #48
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Nope, there is no philosopher-king. No one holds that much power, even in the most restrictive authoritarian state. You think Stalin ever slept soundly a day in his life from the point he consolidated power? Why do you think he whacked anyone he thought was a potential threat?

    There is always a countervailing interest or force in society. A well-developed one keeps these forces in balance toward the greater good.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Gewitter27's Avatar
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    I think democracy is based on the idea that people generally aren't ignorant about everything. Unfortunately, ignorance, which is abound, undermines said concept. But if everyone were totally non-ignorant, you'd have no Economic or Social restraints, resulting in Anarchy.
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  10. #50
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dooraven View Post
    ...
    2. What is to say that this benevolent dictator won't turn nasty.
    ...
    especially since 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'



    Oh... America isn't a democracy, is it?
    I thought it was a republic...

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