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Elections v. Democracy


When politicians talk about ‘democracy’, what they mostly mean is elections, though they do their best to avoid ones they are likely to lose. So a future citizens’ choice of civilian (probably political) police commissioners has been given legal standing without asking the people now told to vote. An institutionalised ego-trip has been enacted by Parliament, sovereign and inattentive. Contrariwise, all but one of the cities where elected mayors were proposed, and the notion foolishly entrusted to the citizenry, have rejected them.

We need to think more intelligently about democracy than identifying it with the simple function of voting for a candidate. What could be more profoundly undemocratic than an elected House of Lords filled with overparted councillors and second-line Spads, all chosen by the local party committee heavily leant on by the London apparat?

Meanwhile, Adrian Beecroft gives the Conservatives money and has his plans for clubbing the workers given serious consideration. As a way of making politics more democratic, stripping out the purchase of influence in Parliament outruns more (and ever less attended) elections by a Swedish mile.

Comments on “Elections v. Democracy”

  1. semitone says:

    “What could be more profoundly undemocratic than an elected House of Lords filled with overparted councillors and second-line Spads, all chosen by the local party committee heavily leant on by the London apparat?”

    I assume this is a rhetorical question, but I’ll bite.

    The answer is: any House of Lords containing hereditary peers. The councillors and SpAds would at least belong to political parties whose manifestos are published before each election.

    But of course I agree with the article as a whole, and the last sentence in particular.

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