Movie Stars and Gossip
Now, it’s important that before you read this article that you realise I don’t agree with every point. It’s also key to remember that I know the counter-argument to each of these points. This article is designed to make you consider another side of an argument, another side of a point and to ultimately see what you think to each of these points. These points may or may not be my views: I won’t tell you. So, let’s begin.
I’m a History and Politics Graduate. Do I believe that I know everything in the world about politics, current affairs and events? No. Do I believe I am relatively well-informed? Yes. To be honest, I believe I am. It’s always a strange taboo area to level some form of disagreement with democracy as some people will flash words around such as fascist, dictatorial so and so, or perhaps state that you believe in an ideology that disagrees with democracy completely.
I believe that democracy should be critiqued. That is my genuine view. The rest of this article will neither have confirmation nor denial that it is my view. I’m playing devils advocate, no childish ‘trolling’ but a series of points that are for you to consider.
Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people said Abraham Lincoln. A system of government that allows the masses to voice their opinion and for an overall decision to be made on a matter. It comes in many different forms, with different rules and procedures but ultimately the idea of the people voting and governing. No supreme leader, ordained by God or minority group. A representative government.
The basic idea is good. So where did it all go wrong?
Imagine this scenario: it’s election day. You’re tasked with entering a booth, putting an X next to the candidate(s) you believe will govern or help to govern the country in the best way possible. That is your civic duty – to vote and to be a part of the selection process for the next government. Although, here’s where the problem lies. You know nothing of the major issues of the day, you frankly just can’t get your head around them and to be honest, you’ve not really got much desire to do so. But that hasn’t deterred you from voting.
In this system, your vote is worth 1. An informed person’s vote is worth 1. A citizen who has actively gone out and read about the issues, weighed up the positives and negatives of various approaches to various issues. But, you have the same power and worth of your vote than that person. Why? How is that fair? Surely someone who understands or is looking to understand the issues should be involved in the debate? How are you qualified to vote? Now you don’t have to have a uniform opinion to be eligible, but you’ve not even got enough information or desire to form an opinion. Your vote is still worth 1. That citizen’s vote is worth 1.
During this election, you’ve read a newspaper that you’ve always read because it has articles in it that agree with your political beliefs. Often though, when put up to scrutiny, they contain inaccurate information, falsehoods or just opinion with very little ‘news’ in them.
Whilst someone else has read a few papers, ranging from views they agree with, those they don’t and a newspaper of factual stories. No opinions, just facts. They have a clear picture of the facts and have made their own opinions. You in this situation, believe that the newspaper you read is right, because, well it is. Your opinion is not actually yours but that of whomever wrote the article on X or Y that you happened to agree with.
In this situation, you have children who are also eligible to vote. They vote the same way as you, because well…it’s family tradition to vote a certain way. They aren’t interested in politics, nor do they see how it affects their lives but they vote, just because they can. Whilst another family have researched the main points, looked at their effects and has an understanding that allows them to understand the points and vote on which candidate would be best to sort these problems out.
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