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Old 11th May 2004, 10:04   #11
NottyImp
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"Let me sound a dissenting voice. I hate to say it but in a country where The Sun is the best-selling newspaper and Big Brother actually increases its viewing figures each year, is there evidence that direct democracy would be a good idea?"

I'm afraid that's one of the risks of democracy. But it was also the argument used to deny women and ("the feckless") working-class a vote in the past, something I hope we would find little justification for today.

Yes, there are some profoundly ill-educated not to say ignorant people in our country today. The solution to that is to do a better job of preparing people to take the kind of decisions they might be required to do with more political participation.

Equally, there are many millions of well educated, informed people of all classes whose impact on the political process is to put a single cross to a limited set of choices every five years or so. That seems to me to be inadequate: even the Athenians some 2500 years ago had a better stab at it than that. :D

As to the technological problem, I agree that the system would have to be pretty "fool-proof", and that that may well be far more difficult than I at first thought. Still, worth the effort in my view.
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Old 11th May 2004, 12:37   #12
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Old 11th May 2004, 20:41   #13
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Yes, there are some profoundly ill-educated not to say ignorant people in our country today. The solution to that is to do a better job of preparing people to take the kind of decisions they might be required to do with more political participation.
Agreed. The problem is that the ruling class & its propaganda machine do a good job of preventing this kind of preparation. So the kind of politics that interests me is the grassroots variety. Party politics is just aristocracy with coat, tie & camera crew. The only hope for politics in my mind, is a mass movement of what has been called "de-schooling." People have to reject the pablum of misinformation proffered by the mass media & stir the embers of popular decision making in their hearts & in the organs of government.
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Old 12th May 2004, 12:41   #14
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Heaven help us, the country was indeed properly looked after by aristocrats, but that was because they owned it, and anything they did, though it might redound to the benefit of the plebs, was mostly estate maintenance. All the wars, foreign and civil, were arranged because the aristos were worried that some other aristo would come and pinch their bit of the country.

So it was a good thing when the social reformers and labour organisers came along and said, "Well, Lord So and So, while you're feathering your nest, you'd do well to make the lives of your minions a bit sweeter, and they'll work and fight all the harder for you if you do, and, while you're about it, let the little devils elect a few representatives to voice their opinions and keep them good".

And, to do them credit many of the aristos did very well by their serfs, though most did the very minimum they could get away with. This is the stage which a very large proportion of the world is at right now - about 200 years ago in our terms.

However. Now we've pushed social reform so far that the lunatics are running the asylum, and, as you say, the country is run by people indistinguishable from aristos, except for their haircuts and accents, but who DON'T own the country and haven't much to lose by selling it down the river for personal gain.

And, while I'm on the subject, we have gone MUCH too far in giving children choice and respect and removing the threat of punishment from them. Children are, by and large, little Darwinian savages near the top of an exploitative tree of evolution, who will place their little crowbars into any sign of weakness and open it wide. There is no respect for social values and, importantly, little fear of retribution. Those kids who would otherwise be worthwhile are peer-pressured into behaving just as badly. The reason most of them finish up reading and believing trash is that no-one ever caned them for failing to do their homework. Get a grip, England. The only hope for the nation is that children of immigrants, who mostly have a much more Victorian attitude to authority and education will eventually displace this tide of human garbage we're breeding here. And, can I (controversially) bolster this opinion by pointing to that the fact that there are many Scots, Irish and Welsh in positions of control and authority in England these days. This is an indicator that twenty to forty years ago, the "provinces" had a more old-fashioned attitude to education. And the fact that Sean Dyslexia can get a job as a teacher is typical.

[I think I'm beginning to overstate my case, so I'll stop now]
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Old 12th May 2004, 12:52   #15
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Don't hold back, Gil, tell us what you really think. :D
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Old 12th May 2004, 13:31   #16
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Fantastic stuff, gil. If I don't see "Children are, by and large, little Darwinian savages near the top of an exploitative tree of evolution, who will place their little crowbars into any sign of weakness and open it wide" as a signature very soon I shall be somewhat surprised.
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Old 12th May 2004, 13:34   #17
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Oh, all right. I advocate summary execution for several crimes including murder, child molestation, rape and releasing computer viruses.

I advocate deportation to some other country of the EC for people who are not worth while. In particular benefit fraudsters, petty criminals, football holligans, clergy of all religions, if they step outside their place of worship and start meddling.

Legalise drugs. That'll take the criminal element out of the system and reduce the price. And it'll take the charm out of the habit for many people. I have no patience with drug-takers. There can't be a person in the country that hasn't heard they're a bad idea. If you then take them it's your funeral. There's re-hab. Use it if you can stay on the programme. I've got a chronic blood disease. There are things I like but can't eat. They make me ill and curdle my blood. Do I go around eating these things because I like them and then expect everyone to pick me up and save my life? No I don't. What's different? Degenerates. If you make a bad decision, change it or live with it. Everyone else has to.

I'm beginning to sound like a Sun reader. Perhaps I've gone too far.
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Old 12th May 2004, 13:43   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gil
I'm beginning to sound like a Sun reader. Perhaps I've gone too far.
Nonsense; you've thought about it, and that's a difference.

As for deporting people who are simply not worth while, where do you start?!
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Old 12th May 2004, 13:56   #19
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And add cruelty to animals as a capital offence, including fox-hunting.

I approve of universal suffrage, but would advocate a stringent test of intelligence, general knowledge and logic which the applicant must pass before being allowed to vote. As things stand, even Sean Dyslexia has a vote. That can't be (w)right.
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Old 14th May 2004, 12:27   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gil
I agree with him. The only suitable way of being involved in politics is when you have some totally different competency and career, but are FORCED to be a politician by people who are begging you to do so, and when you are determined to get out of the scummy business ASAP because you have more respectable work in prospect i.e. not journalism. In this case, the politician actually works towards completing the assigned task, and not to protecting his career.
On a much more local level this is how we elect people in my re-enactment group - it takes a lot of persuading to find anyone to stand, and once they do they are stuck with it - and we are deeply suspicious of anyone who seems to like being in charge

unfortunately I don't really think this system will work with large numbers of people - although having said that I think something similar happend when Vacalav Havel became president of Czechoslovakia after the Velvet revolution - there was certainly a lot of public acclaim (or so I gathered from the guide books)

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