Guide to Earth Part III.
In one of the five-part trilogy of Douglas Adams his characters land on a planet where evil, cruel, lying, bloodthirsty lizards rule over the people. How can a few lizards conquer billions of humans? They don’t, they are elected. Why? So that the wrong lizard doesn’t get the power… The book, of course, is mere fantasy, completely unrelated to Earth, with the most advanced political system, democracy.
The word ‘democracy’ comes from Greek demo (people) and kratos (power). As direct rule would be all too tiring and intellectually stressful for the people, they choose representatives from among themselves by majority vote. The representatives are honest, fine individuals organized into selfless, humanistic groups called parties. In many countries you can choose from as many as two such altruistic gathering of individuals to govern. The parties represent truly different world views offering a wide range of choice in their names, colors and Leaders.
Leaders are kind and considerate individuals setting the prosperity of their people as their life goal. These decent, gentle, nuanced thinkers are willing to compromise and never agitate against other groups of people. Their benevolence is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the people vote them in again and again.
The election process is preceded by these noble and altruistic teams making promises about what they would accomplish should they get voted into office. The faces, vows and debates of a few chosen gladiators are broadcast on TV. Everyone can democratically cheer for their chosen gladiators, excited whether they’ll make it to parliament. This entertaining season is like a soccer championship. Some exceptionally democratic states are actually governed by a boxer or soccer player who didn’t make it to the first league.1
Popular media channels and newspapers are entirely independent from the parties so every candidate starts with the same chance. Of course not all candidates receive publicity to prevent people from becoming overwhelmed by too many possibilities. You, however, can endorse anyone on your YouTube channel for your millions of viewers.
The fact that money has no role in who gets elected can be clearly seen by many rich people losing (to other rich people). Companies never support candidates in order to influence their decisions. The billions in donations given by multinational corporations and the upper class are solely given to enhance the workings of democracy. To ensure that poor people, Natives and the like don’t obstruct the smooth working of democracy, people with a criminal record are automatically excluded from the electorate.
While attention is being drawn to gladiators, multinationals can work in peace. The speedy warming of our planet can continue so we will never be cold. Obsolete species can be eliminated facilitating evolution. The few remaining tribes can also be eradicated for their ignorance of democracy.
Parties always keep their promises. Once they have made it to parliament they do as they have vowed because morality compels them to do so. In parliament representatives always follow their conscience, conscientiously voting for whatever their Leader tells them. Some uninformed people have in the past suggested that members of parliament be recallable if they do not fulfill their promises. This would be improper as the resulting stress would make it difficult for your representatives to prepare for their next election.
Borders of election districts are often democratically reformed by the ruling party in order to even better represent the will of the people. This way in a winner-takes-all system a party may win an election even though it received less votes overall. This happened in Canada in 2019 when the Conservative Party collected 34.3% of the vote, yet the Liberals could form a government with 33.1% of the vote. In a democracy the will of the people always triumphs!
Regrettably, a portion of the people still do not understand that elections are for their own good and refuse to vote. Hence a majority may consist of 20% of the population. Really progressive democratic countries, like Australia, have solved this by making voting mandatory.
Those countries that vote for party lists generally have a minimum limit for being counted. This is necessary to avoid suspicious groups not owning TV channels and an industrial base to get into parliament where they would wreak havoc. When the party of the Kurds managed to make it over the 10% treshold in Turkey in 2018, the leaders were soon arrested lest they endanger democracy.
It is often said that democracy is imperfect but it’s the best system of governance invented up till now. This is not true. Democracy is perfect because it is based on majority voting which prevents cynical and destructive fringe groups to monkeywrench progress. In modern governance there are no wimpy compromises. Robust, masculine decisions are the norm, especially by female Leaders like Margaret Thatcher.
Democracy is so good that it even allows for referendums. That way 51% of the citizens that vote can protect the other 49% from improper decisions. Thus a reign of terror by religious minorities or other marginal groups is averted. Other dangerous resource-wasting measures such as multiple-language signs demanded by an ethnic group can also be democratically prevented.
Democracy encourages family life. In 2000 George W. Bush became president of the United States thanks to the contested votes of the state of Florida, where his brother, Jeb Bush was governor. George W. Bush thereby followed in the footsteps of his father, George Bush, former president. Unfortunately Jeb didn’t make it in the Republican preliminaries in 2016, demonstrating some imperfection in democracy. Some nitpickers may raise a question: Why didn’t Al Gore become president in 2000 when he received half a million votes more than G. W. Bush? Such troubleraisers fail to understand the true workings of democracy. Democracy is about having elections. In Singapore there is always at least one opposition representative in parliament authenticating the fully democratic government of progressive president Lee.
In some countries, such as Turkey, Russia, most Central Asian states and others the same heroic, nation-building Leader is elected for decades. Those that raise the theoretical possibility of pressure or cheating are paranoid traitors, conspiracy theorists, and surely organ traffickers as well. This is true in every case when the fairness of an election is questioned in a democratic country. After all, we, citizens have a clear understanding of every detail of the functioning of IT systems. Who would benefit from manipulating data and information? In the age of cyber security this is a completely unrealistic concern.
Some proclaim that representational democracy is a mere theater but this is obvious nonsense. If this was true why would the most democratic country in the world, the USA, be forced to remove governments that were democratically, albeit mistakenly elected? Some examples are Iran in 1953, Chile in 1973, Algeria in 1990, Egypt in 2013, Haiti numerous times, Bolivia in 2019, etc. Your wedding being bombed by democratic drones is a fundamentally different experience from your wedding being bombed by some low-life dictator.
Yes, democracy is suitable for going to war for against undemocratic countries. An election where invited international observers are refused to be sent by Western countries is obviously undemocratic as happened in Venezuela in 2020.
Even today, there are naive fantasizers that dream about consensual decision mechanisms, making representatives responsible, direct, local democracy and other delusions. As none of these methods could ever work, they are not tried in modern society, since they are obsolete, impractical and undemocratic. The great age of democracy has finally dawned! This system makes it impossible for dictators to get power, Hitler was merely an unfortunate accident that can never be repeated — especially not in Hungary.
Vladimír Mečiar, former many times premier of Slovakia was a boxer. Orbán Viktor, present many times premier of Hungary was a football player.