Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why Majorities Matter

The more traditional politicians talk about democracy, the less this moribund talent-free zone appears to understand the meaning of the term. Some probably think it means "one person (ie electoral unit) one vote", but nearly all are agreed that they don't want the will of the majority to prevail above their personal partisan judgement. Populism has become a dirty word in Westminster and Brussels, and is used by (delegated) politicians of all ilks as a term of exasperation when asked why they persistently refuse to do the obvious, when it is demonstrably the will of the majority.

Not surprisingly, a recent big issue decided by the usual EU cabal was the latest extension of treaty powers and impositions. Did you or I ever expect that the Common Market - sold originally to us an extension of a free trade area - was going to result in the imposition of a Eurostate and its many impositions on our personal freedoms and choices that we now have today?

Let's take the opportunity to update a classic Monty Python line: "We didn't expect the Spanish... French, German, Italian, Belgian, Irish, Greek, Portuguese etc. Inquisition..."

The manipulation of the majority by a conniving collective of minorities has been the outstanding feature of late 20th century politics. One thing that this motley gang of fellow travellers can easily agree upon is that a policy of "divide and rule" has delivered each faction a power and influence that is wholly unrepresentative of its absolute position in the popular vote. They even managed to con a gullible world into demonising all who question their sacred mantra of "inclusiveness" - despite inclusiveness being the antithesis of the will of the majority!

One signal consequence of this form of minority rule is the way that the West has allowed the actions of a few extremists dictate the policy that now goes under the guise of "anti terror" legislation. In order to address a "tiny minority" of disruptive terrorists, everyone is treated with equal suspicion and equally inconvenienced. Ironically, the line-ups for x-ray machines at ports may be the last vestige of democracy where we (nearly) all get the same treatment.

Is it too much to hope for a political party that offers to listen to the majority of the people, and then actually do what the majority asks - regardless of baggage, dogma and distraction? We certainly seem to have the technology to conduct rolling popular votes on just about anything.

Do you trust your fellow subjects to take the opportunity seriously and not be daft? It would certainly put politicians on their mettle to continuously present the arguments for consideration - they might even earn their salaries, expenses and pensions at last.

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