Many if not most people are dissatisfied with what’s been happening politically.
I hear you.
Most times when I go to cast my ballot I am looking for a place to mark “none of the above”!
Well, Kevin Alan McGill doesn’t give up easily. I am a Poet/Social Philosopher with a passion for democracy.
I look for solutions.
So, with the help of Auntie Pander, let’s try out some new ideas.
First, let’s look at changing our thinking about how we do representative democracy.
Our dissatisfaction might come from the fact that our ideas about democracy are about two thousand years out of date!
Our concept of democracy comes from a time when most people couldn’t vote. Democracy back then meant general agreement of a ruling elite.
As the rest of us gradually gained the right to vote, the idea of representative government arose.
Our thinking was that our representatives ought to represent us and only us. Our representatives thought so too!
The problem with that is present-day communities are made up of more than one group.
What’s happens is that, in a “multi-party” system, someone can get elected by appealing to less than 40 percent of the voters. Even in a two-party system, close to half of the voters can reject a candidate and that candidate still gets elected. And let’s not get into one-party systems which are just a pretense of democracy.
So we have a bit of a systems problem.
And that system pits us against each other and rarely gets close to consensus.
I’m going to suggest that to turn this boat around we start by changing what we expect of our representatives.
To me, it would just seem logical that good Representative Democracy in a pluralistic, non-elitist society would require representatives who:
- Believe in democracy, and
- have the knowledge, skills, experience and attitude (K. S. E. A.) to be able to develop that democratic consensus.
The Evolution of Representative Democracy starts with better representatives and that starts with identifying, developing and supporting candidates with better K. S. E. A.. credentials.
And what might those K. S. E. A. credentials be?
Respectful Comments to this page are welcome. Just scroll down to the end.
The first thing is to just talk to others about these concepts. And work at not being discouraged if the first reaction is negative. That’s natural whenever a new idea is put forth.
And remember to listen. Maybe in all that seeming negativity is a seed or two towards positivity. After all, democracy is about consensus.