Friday, August 24, 2007

Exercising our democratic right...

Almost every New Zealand over the age of 18 has the right to vote. You have to have met certain residency criteria and are not in prison or mentally unfit (although there seems to be a lot of latitude in that one).

Is this really the best way of establishing a Government?

Surely the idea of having a central government is to have a body to act in the best interests of the country. Giving every citizen the right to vote may not achieve this. Why? Because too many in society do not understand what they are supposed to be doing when they apply their mark to the ballot paper.

Self interest plays too big a part in the decision making process of too many who have the right to vote. And the politicians know this.

This was epitomised in a comment by someone televised after the latest budget. "There was nothing in it for me.". Most people's interest in politics is "What is in it for me?". There is no thought of the overall good of the country. And the politicians know this.

This makes it very easy for a political party (I'll get to the morality of political parties one day), especially one that is already in power to "buy an election". And they buy it with tax payer money. The winner of elections under universal suffrage is the one who appears to benefit the greatest majority of the populace - not necessarily the one who has the best policies for the governance of the country.

Okay. That's a lot of rhetoric. What is the alternative? I am not going to present my alternative just yet (I have one to offer though). I am just going to challenge the status quo and hopefully readers will see that what I am saying is right.

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