Don’t cry over Brexit and the US’s Republican Party. Democracy is a game of numbers and numbers don’t lie.
I didn’t follow the Brexit referendum. It was a no brainer. No smart person will do anything to his detriment. Right?
Wrong. The thing is, you can’t count on humans to take a course of action that’s best for themselves. Want examples? STDs, drugs and whatever poison people consume.
That incomprehensible but true evidence of man’s irrationality explains Trump’s political raise. But wait, am I saying this because things didn’t go the way I expected. In part.
The other part is that direct democracy (leaving these same people to make decisions that can have dire consequences) is suicide- at least that’s Trump reflects.
The David Cameron led UK government made a fundamental error calling for a referendum. Here’s why.
Governments are to make decisions that the everyday person can’t bother with, won’t bother with, need not bother with- and whatever else, so long as it’s in the people’s interest.
But when counsel decides to go with the take of his client’s interpretation of a point of law- this is what you get.
It’s like going under the knife. You pick an expert you can afford based off part hunch and whatever else helps you sleep at night. The doctor looks through your medical history. You state whatever preference you have and leave the final decisions to him. If you don’t feel better after the surgery- you take what option is available.
And this applies to all services that needs some degree of specialization. So, why did a different rule apply to governance in one of the most democratized societies?
Here’s the problem- democracy is reaching its tipping point.
So why leave mechanics, farmers, and the likes decide issues beyond their comprehension?
Men that haven’t figured out raising up the toilet seat in the middle of the night? And whatever mystery women are stuck with ( I found myself explaining safe period to a lady a while back. And don’t ask why).
World politics is complex. It’s not a game for those who show interest every election year. It’s nothing like church politics and community meetings. These people may think they know enough but they don’t see the big picture and how far it extends.
Take a test on voters and have them tell you about the 2008 financial crisis (I’ve spoken with a few people on it) — you’ll see my point. And that’s an issue with loads of information on it around us. Talk more of taking an informed decision on issues with consequences not immediately obvious.
I’m not suggesting that we stop people from participating in decision making- since I think they are almost incapable of washing their derriere. No.
I’m saying since we have a political class who emerge through a fairly credible process. They (the political experts) should take charge on these issues. That’s what representative democracy is about.
Otherwise, we should pass referendums on every other issue. Since they can’t have this much consequence as the Brexit in the present scheme of things.
But if the people must vote over issues that need a level of technical competence, then they should go through a simple test that show they know enough about it and its consequences. Look at driving tests as a prototype- since your decision behind the wheels affects you, other commuters, your family, theirs, emergency workers, grrr. Get it?
People should know enough before they vote. Since this is not always the case, parties have primaries to filter the best candidates. Then the common man can nails his thumb for whichever candidate suits him.
Well, no. Trump rode the same wave of public opinion (referendum). While throwing out sentiments uninformed people have over technical issues. And since the practice of electing party representatives in the United States is in the hands of these laymen — voila. That’s why other candidates couldn’t touch him. All through the process, he sang to the people’s hearts.
Of course there will be laymen knowledgeable enough to make informed decisions. But that’s on what scale to either the poorly informed or the ignorant.
Reports on the Brexit result shows that the pro EU voters were, on the average, more educated than those against.
People aren’t as intelligent as we hope. And if you’ll have them do your job, at least enforce some level of education as prerequisite.
The world and politics has grown beyond the foundations laid by democracy’s founding fathers. The rules for eligibility in public decision making should go beyond citizenship. We need some level of education to show the individual as capable of some thoughtfulness.
While we hope that more people will read beyond the headlines (listen to people by the news stand- it’s frustrating).
Coming up with an IQ filter will shoot democracy in a better direction. And save our nations from people who turn on devices they are not accustomed to without reading the manual.
This piece first appeared here and is republished with the consent of the author