From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Democracy, not worth the effort

That's the take away I get every time we hold an election.  People see elections as a costly waste of time, this is a mind set I just can't understand.

While free and honest elections alone don't equal a democracy they are an important component for without them democracy cannot exist at all. True we are left uninspired by our options come election time but that is mostly a monster of our own creation, having created an environment where politicians fear being bold and innovative.

All too often we blindly get sucked into following the corporate media machine that has become so invested in the status quo that they viciously attack anyone who dares to challenge it. Oh that's crazy, that'll never work.

So while we lament the status quo we also fear it's end. When did we become so fearful of the change we all say we crave so much? Why is it that we can look around and see so many including ourselves struggle yet vote to retain the same policies that got us here?

The best solution to this problem is Proportional Representation but, oh no, we can't have that because it will lead to more elections, the horror.  Too many have become convinced that democracy can be a neat and tidy exercise, it isn't and must never be so. Democracy works best when it is messy, the messier the better in my books.

It is also hard work.

We can't merely shuffle off to the polls every now and then and say we did our job, a healthy democracy requires much more of us. It requires our constant attention, it needs our engagement including taking to the streets en masse when necessary. It requires us to put forward and support bold ideas, to support one another, especially those left behind.

 In short it needs us to give of ourselves, to stop whinging every time we are "forced" to go to the polls. If we aren't prepared to put in the effort then we truly get the government we deserve.


  1. The bloodless democracy we now 'enjoy,' Kev, has led to so many abuses by those in power, largely because they expect our passivity, rather than our revulsion. Stories of the extraordinary lengths to which people will go to vote in countries with nascent democracies, putting themselves at great peril, should make us all ashamed of our inertia and apathy.

    1. Yes indeed Lorne, an eternal truth is you lose that which you take for granted.
      We see this in the actions of the Harper government. All the element needed for the rise in fascism are there.

      Truly frightening times

  2. Unfortunately for democracy, voting involves using one's critical thinking capabilities - a skill it seems not many people have!

  3. I've never understood the hatred of voting. In some places people line up all day. Even in the US, it's an ordeal for many and an impossibility for more and more.

    In Canada, I've never spent longer than about 5 minutes at the polling station and never had more than a 5 minute walk to it. What is the big fucking horror?

    It is literally the least one can do.

    1. Yes Fern It IS the least we can do, sadly it seems to be the last thing our political masters wish us to do