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"Imaginary" Democracy Beware [Copy link] 中文

Post time 2007-3-10 16:34:40 |Display all floors
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Post time 2007-3-10 18:31:29 |Display all floors
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Post time 2007-3-10 18:47:57 |Display all floors
"You see in most countries, the population gets two choices, usually left or right, so called.
You vote for those people and they basically do what they want. That's DEMOCRACY"

Ummm... no.

In many countries, there are a large number of voting choices. In the UK, for example, the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the British National Party, and the RESPECT Coalition compete for votes. True, only one of the two main parties have been in power since 1912, however, that's the people's choice. If they really wanted one of the other parties in power at a national level, they would vote for them.

In any case, increased devolution means that parties other than the Tories and Labour do achieve power at a local level.

For example, the SNP has a great deal of power in Scotland, and it is predicted by some that it may very well succeed in passing a referendum to achieve Scottish independence! The fact that the UK government will allow such a referendum to split up the UK speaks volumes about the tolerance of the government in comparison with certain other countries.

Can you suggest any reasons to justify why you consider multi party republics to be worse than authotarian governments? For example, can you suggest any good reasons why the China Democracy Party (supressed on the mainland since 1997) should not be permitted to challenge the CCP for the leadership of the Chinese government?

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Post time 2007-3-10 18:57:53 |Display all floors

Ummmm... no

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Post time 2007-3-10 19:25:51 |Display all floors
irishinuk wrote:

"You see in most countries, the population gets two choices, usually left or right, so called.
You vote for those people and they basically do what they want. That's DEMOCRACY"

Regardless of who gets into power, the government typically only represent the minority of the voting public. Proportional representation is probably closer to democracy. But the government of the day is too afraid of loosing their power to go for that option.

''True, only one of the two main parties have been in power since 1912, however, that's the people's choice''

That's a bit like asking if someone would rather be shot or stabbed. There is a lot of tactical voting in the UK for fear that the opposition will get into power. They don't like the opposition either but it looks like the lesser of the two evils.

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Post time 2007-3-10 20:43:33 |Display all floors
True, but let's face it, when people are bothered enough, they do change their voting habits. In 1912, the Liberal Party was the most powerful political party in the country, but because the working classes felt that it did not adequately represent their interests, the trade unions banded together to create today's Labour Party. When people are really bothered, they do go out and make their voice heard in Parliament when they want sweeping change.

As far as the lesser of two evils thing:

I'm not sure that this is in fact true. Labour's massive landslide 1997 victory was mainly as a result of a positive campaign emphasising things like the establishment of a minimum wage, rather than a great fear of the Tories. Of course, there always is a certain amount of negative campaigning when people feel that either party has been in government for too long, but better that people have the choice than no choice.

The fact that the Big Three gain an overwhelmingly large share of the vote even in council elections (which do not decide what party gets into government) does show that they command the loyalty of most voters (after all, there would be nothing to stop most people from switching to RESPECT or the BNP if that's what they wanted to do, since, as I said, council election victories have no bearing on which party achieves a majority in Parliament).

In Britain, all parties, including minor and local parties, including Sinn Fein, the DUP, the UUP, the SDLP, the Alliance Party, Plaid Cymru, the SNP, the BNP, RESPECT all get political broadcast slots on Channel 4 ahead of elections. People are aware of the other political parties, but do not always choose to vote for them (although they do in Northern Ireland, where the DUP and Sinn Fein are the largest political parties at Parliamentary elections, and in Scotland and Wales, where the Liberal Democrats have a better showing than in England itself). So the other parties are able to get their message out.

To suggest that the situation here is no different than in mainland China is absurd. It would only be the same if the KMT, DPP and the China Democracy Party were all given 15-minute slots on CCTV to try and compete with the CCP in getting their message out. Until that day arrives, there really is no comparison. We are collectively free to change our government at any election we wish; you on the other hand are not. Simple facts.

[ Last edited by irishinuk at 2007-3-10 08:50 PM ]

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Post time 2007-3-10 20:53:50 |Display all floors

Soft and Furry Democracy

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