Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Demonacracy - Putting the Demons back into Democracy

In this posting on "Why all Monopolies become Corrupt", I was flying without a parachute - using a browser that didn't support Google's spell-checker.

So I banged it out and published - only to get pinged by a friend on this great typo: "Demoncracy".

I love the term - it does represent what many small-l liberals of both Left and Right think is happening these days with "machine men" politics feed by Big Money Political Parties.

In Australia, we are governed by under the 5% view. With ~10M voters, there are fewer members of the main political parties than your average good sports club. [Described with a little more colour in the last few years in Adelaide, South Australia.]

There are fewer than 500,000 - and probably under 100,000 - members of the main political parties.
The Parties represent themselves and the views of their members, the rest of us have the option of "take the full package - you'll love it" or not... It's often Hobson's Choice - neither is remotely close to what you might want if you had the choice. And professional politicians (an oxymoron?) consistently rank as more disliked/untrusted than any other profession.
Exactly the opposite applies to indepentents elected to Federal Parliment - they are seen are highly principled and ethical.

Australians being "very laid back" (what used to be called apathetic) just go along with this state of affairs. We're not lotus eaters nor univolved and uncaring - just wear the wrong clothes to a weekend football match!

We're mostly 'comfortable' and just getting on with our lives - Politics is often seen as an a three-yearly annonyance. A view I'm sure the people of Eastern Europe that recently put their lives on the line to have a Democracy don't share... We have bills to pay and places to go - and active lives to lead. Politics can take care of itself - it has done so all this time!

Our current Political Party Machine system is a direct result of the statistical work of George Horace Gallup in the 1930's that led to his correct prediction, against all other pundits, of the 1936 US Presidential election by Franklin Roosevelt.

For fascinating, first hand accounts of this, see Alistair Cookes' "Letter from America" of Monday, 7 October, 2002 - What the American people want and Monday, 17 July, 2000- Now read on...

The system of Polls driving elections, speeches and policy results in very little difference between parties. It looks like "Tweedle Dee and Dumber".

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