Thursday, November 20, 2008


Winston Churchill once famously said: "The best argument against democracy is a five minutes conversation with the average voter."


Mind you, I don't think the picture is that different on the Republican side. It's just that apparently the clueless people on the left far outnumbered their counterparts on the right. Being somewhat of a political junkie myself, upon seeing this video I had a sense of déjà vu. Basically it's the same over here, with people being completely unable to answer even the simplest questions. They may know the Prime Minister but once you start asking what exactly the difference between executive and legislative power is, you get blank stares most if not all of the time. As society evolves and becomes more complex, as the whole world in all its facets, from the technology that surrounds us to the legislation that governs our life to the infrastructure that is being raised around us... becomes more complex.... isn't it appropriate that people should at least be able to present a basic understanding of how the political system works, the issues politicians stand for, and the way their votes can make a difference? Years ago I toyed with the idea that in order to be able to cast a vote, people should first be required to submit a test consisting of a limited set of questions proving that at least they understand what is at stake. I don't think such a test would be undemocratic. It's not undemocratic that you are required to have a driver's license before you are allowed on the street in a vehicle weighing a ton and capable of reaching 130 miles an hour. Not requiring a license would lead to a plethora of grave accidents and great loss of life.

Likewise, letting clueless people decide the fate of a nation - people who cast a vote based on a fluffy warm feeling rather than on solid, rational, verifiable facts - strikes me as an act of folly just as crazy, only of a millionfold magnitude. Hey, like I said, society evolves. Why shouldn't the electoral process? Why shouldn't tests be in order?

Hat tip Quid Nimis.


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