Friday, January 30, 2004

Democracy's One Flaw?

It seems to me democracy discriminates against a group of citizens. Currently it is a very large group in this country, quite possibly the majority. Notice I said citizens and not voters. No it's not minors, not criminals, not illegal aliens and not women (oh wait, 19th amendment passed in 1920. I keep forgetting).

I'm talking about moderates. People whose nature is to not get too excited about the issues and in general keep a cool and reasonable head. The problem is, their head is so cool, they don't get out to vote to put their moderate candidate into office to represent their reasonable ways. The best we can do is threaten the candidates during election time so that when we get polled, only the ones we think best represents our moderate ways will see the polls in their favor and think that they have a better chance to win their party's ticket. But this isn't a country created on polls, that's not even an official system so it's dangerous to rely on as the primary means of getting someone elected. (Topic for another day: Elected celebrity officials).

If you think about it, democracy favors the extremists. If you're radical enough to be so emotional on an issue you'd do something stupid to defend it, then it certainly doesn't put you out to get registered then drive somewhere and flip a switch (touch a screen, punch a card, drop a marble). Unfortunately, that's too much work for a lot of people in a country that depend direly on remote controls, online banking and oil change stations. Technology is what created this discrimination in democracy and it will have to be the one to remove it. When online voting becomes standard, democracy will be back to near perfection.

Political parties are a bad idea anyway. It's a way of packaging a candidate. Political parties are for the lazy and if you just read my last paragraph, that would be the majority in this country. Although that kind of lazy is a horse of a different color. There are lazy extremists. They have the energy to support whatever cause they see, they're just too "lazy" in the brain to figure out that what they believe in could be bad; physical strength but no common sense to see the consequences.

So democracy might have a flaw. But it's really the people's lack of desire to use democracy that is to blame not the system itself. But then again the very definition of democracy is "of the people." If we don't exercise to use democracy, isn't that democracy? Probably not. But having the choice even if you do nothing about it might be.