Free and Legitimate? Or Transparently Unfair?
In its simplest form, "democracy" means the members of some group of people using a negotiation or decision-making process to demonstrate their preference on a course of action, as opposed to a leader deciding for the group.
In the West, a voting process is apparently the preferred method for group decision-making. No rationale is offered for this preference, but supporters would likely claim it to be "fair" in some way, "legitimate" and, of course, the will of God.
But in fact, voting is nothing more than a method of terminating an uresolved dispute in favor of a more powerful majority.
But why would we vote at all? Why resort to this method of decision-making? In small groups it is pointless, and in large groups it is not only seriously flawed but endowed wtih an illusory legitimacy, and is nothing if not "transparently unfair".
If only a few of us are discussing whether to go out for a beer or play snooker, we wouldn't put that to a vote. We would discuss options until we had agreement. That agreement would not have to mean all persons are 100% in favor, but no persons are 100% against - meaning everyone will be more or less pleased with the outcome.
It isn't so easy to do this in very large or physically-separated groups, but then I'm not aware anyone has ever seriously examined the prospects in this context. However, polls provide something similar, and their accuracy is well established.
If we have 100 people in our company trying to select a location for a sales conference, under what circumstances would we put this decision to a final vote?
Normally, we would raise and discuss options, discard the unsuitable, and consider the few remaining. We expect our debate will produce an alternative acceptable to all - to some more than others, perhaps, but still acceptable. No strong dissention.
If, at the end, we decide to vote on the matter, it is only because we have two segments of our group who stubbornly oppose further negotiation and refuse to consider new alternatives. Both have simply dug in their heels.
The proposed method of solving the impasse, the vote, is simply an admission of our failure to negotiate fully and in good faith, and of our refusal to consider the welfare of all group members.
More than this, the request for a vote will always come from the majority group who want to terminate the discussion in their favor. We want to have our own way; nothing more than that.
On the other hand, if we do have an effective discussion and negotiation process, the general will of the group will emerge as obvious. We can simply ask if all will be sufficiently content with our solution, if there are any strong dissenting voices. So long as we genuinely consider the wishes of all, a vote would be unnecessary and pointless.
Here we have two parties who have dug in their heels long before the discussion began, done solely on the basis of party ideology, which means I reject any suggestion you make, even if it's a good one.
In government debates and policy discussions, it's a foregone conclusion there will be no negotiation, in good faith or otherwise, that there is no hope of finding a solution acceptable to all. So we put the matter to a vote.
In circumstances like the above, I doubt it would ever occur to anyone in China to realise an impasse existed and to say, "Well, let's put this to a vote". The Chinese don't generally solve problems by forcing a termination of discussion.
The Chinese Confucian shades-of-grey culture will delay, re-convene and rediscuss until a consensus appears that everyone can live with.
The hell it is. Voting is nothing more than bullying by a majority. There is no system of decision-making that is less "fair" than putting something to a vote.
It is an arrogant decision-making process deliberately designed to disregard the wishes and best interests, to disenfranchise, isolate and betray at least half of the population whose welfare is at stake.
Voting is exclusive; we vote for either A or B, but not both. Whichever side obtains less than a majority is totally sidelined, their wishes and welfare ignored because they are the "losers".
In what way is a decision-making process considered 'fair' when - by design - it ignores the express wishes of half the population?
The US Democrats want to implement a universal health care system, and of course the Republicans will have no part of it. So we put it to a vote and the Republicans kill the plan with their 51% majority.
And you want to define this as "fair"? Fair to whom, exactly? For sure it's fair to all the Republicans who don't want health care, at least by their definition of fairness, but is it fair to the people of the nation who just lost something enormous?
Where is the fairness and equity in such an all-or-nothing system that produces only winners and losers?
On what basis can you claim that your 51% majority entitles you to 100% of the rewards while my 49% minority entitles me to zero? That's just individualistic, selfish, bullying, law-of-the-jungle Christian Darwinism.
And it's even much less equitable than this, because often my "minority" comprises as much as 75% of the population of a nation. But you 'win', so it's 'fair'.
No, it does not. There is no law, no gospel, no philosophical principle, to dictate that a 51% majority is "right", thereby rendering its decisions legal, justified and legitimate, and which should therefore be imposed on the minority.
This legitimacy is an illusion concocted by those who believe that "might makes right", and promulgated as a theological virtue to silence the bullied minority into submission. It is a repugnant philosophy supported by extensive propaganda and brainwashing to ensure the minorty fail to realise what is happening to them.
And what has happened, is that the minority have been duped into participating in a system that ignores their wishes, strips them of their rights and benefits and gives everything instead to the majority. And that's fair. After all, that's Christian democracy.
The Western Right-Wing individualistic nations, the former and present imperialists, invaders and conquerors, those following the winner-take-all law of the jungle, have concocted this system because it fits their belligerent personality and Christian supremacy.
They didn't choose it because it was fair or legitimate; they chose it because bullying comes naturally to their Social Darwinism.
The only way to claim legitimacy for such a process is to silence the minority by forcing them to accept the theological premise that minorities have no rights and deserve no consideration, because they really are losers.
And this Philosophical Treason is the Job of Propaganda.
Remember that when you vote, you consent to be governed by whoever wins - not by who you voted for, but by whoever wins.
As we pointed out in another article, the losers have been browbeaten, bullied, propagandised and hoodwinked into believing and accepting that, because they are the losers, their wishes, rights and welfare are now irrelevant and they must remain silent.
It is one more tribute to the power of propaganda that the minority, who may comprise 75% of our population sample, will abandon their own self-interest and surrender their fate to a hostile majority on some contrived moral principle of fairness and legitimacy.
So effective has been the propaganda that it apparently never occurs to either majority or minority that a system designed to disregard half the population is neither moral nor fair, and that legitimacy is being conferred only by a "might makes right" theology.
Maybe, but the preferred method of voting is a secret ballot which permits us to vote according to our conscience while relieving us of external pressures and fear of retaliation. Anything secret is by definition not transparent, so this claim is dead.
Some votes, as with corporate board meetings, are done by a show of hands, but if the topic is volatile or emotionally-charged, these will revert to a secret ballot for the reasons above.
Parliaments and houses of government often hold votes by a show of hands, but the "transparency" sought here is the opposite of that stated. It is there precisely to create opportunity for external pressure and retaliation, generally from the party.
It is primarily a way to hang someone, to prevent voting on conviction or conscience. Secret ballots would often result in many government members voting against their own party - the unforgiveable treason of emulating true 'democracy'.
In Canada's last election in 2011, the Conservative Party garnered less than 40% of the total vote, but the voter distribution gave them 166 of 304 seats, so a majority government.
Moreover, only 60% of the eligible population voted, meaning the party has the support of less than 1/4 of the country's people but has total legislative control. And that control is enacting policies and legislation that 75% of the population do not want.
The other minority parties - and 75% of Canada's population - are totally disenfranchised. And this result isn't unusual in Western democracies; we often see voter turnout of only 30% to 40%, meaning if one party collects all the votes it still disenfranchises two-thirds of the population.
France's President will be either Francois Hollande or Nicolas Sarkozy, who respectively received only 28% and 27% of the vote, with a voter turnout of about 75% - which means the next President will have been chosen by only 20% of the population.
On what planet do I, by virtue of being part of a minority, surrender my wishes and my best interest, and turn over control of my welfare to an essentially hostile group who happen to constitute an opposing majority?
And before you answer, consider that this "minority" of which I am a member can often comprise 75% of the total population.
Now tell me again why this "democracy by voting" is a universal value and human right to which every enlightened species aspires.
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