Sunday, 26 May 2019

Another Problem With Democracy

My main problem with Democracy has always been that once the person is voted in, they can be as awful as they like for the next four or five years and do untold damage until the election cycle comes around again before we can turf them out.
Placing a cross on a ballot paper every five years is as much say as we have and then we are stuck with them with no way to remove the party if its breaks its promises or u-turns on it's manifesto so i have often wondered if we could have a mechanism to call a General Election if countrywide support dips below a certain percentage but as i watched Theresa May quit, i pondered maybe there is another way, no elections at all.    
A leader is elected and as we have seen with Donald Trump in America, he set about dismantling all of which his predecessor had achieved and once Trump is removed, the next person will probably roll back on all his work and that goes on in every country as i expect the Labour Party will dismantle much of what the Conservatives have done over the last decade. 
With a four or five year cycle, the party in power only have eyes on the next election which leads to quick fixes and knee jerk reactions to get the public on side, such as Savid Javid's decision to remove Shamima Begum passport after an outcry, rather than dealing with the deeper issues.
If Governments are only looking and planning for the short term then long-term issues which they will make little political capital out of are forgotten, such as Climate Change, risky Ai or the pension timebomb which will effect the citizens of tomorrow.
The only way that i can see to stop this short term thinking is to have someone in post for a long time who will take a long term view, China being the obvious example with Xi Jinping being the latest who offers a long term plan for China and with the second largest economy and tipped to soon become first, they are a success story of sorts.  
Uncomfortably though, this does lead us into authoritarian dictatorship territory and the idea of a 'benign dictator', who can take the long view on multiple issues for future generations without having one eye on whether his or her decisions will prove unpopular and see them removed by the public and their plans scrapped by their predecessor at the next election. 
History has very few, if any, dictators who remain benign and enlightened for very long after gaining power so it probably isn't the answer to the problem of short-term planning and politicians only obsessed with the next election.

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