An Effective Democracy

Politics is a subject everyone has views on, but not many people know much about the subject. When it comes to deciding what’s best for their fellow citizens, people don’t feel obligated to study economics, history, or foreign policy. They take the same approach that Aristotle did on the, “Is the earth moving?” question. Aristotle said, “If the earth is moving, that means when I jump straight in the air, I will not land in the spot that I jumped from”. To paraphrase, “If it makes sense in my head it must be true.”

The weakness of democracy is that it relies on an informed public to be effective. If you take an interest in politics, you have a duty to be informed. Voting for a candidate merely because they share your religious views, or because you like the idea of them is allowing democracy’s weakness to dominate. The best candidate is the person who can perform the job the best, and maybe not always the type of person you would enjoy in a social setting.

When you cast a vote, you could be affecting someone’s life. It’s not too much to ask that we all study our opinions. We should be concerned with how the policies we vote for work and affect society. When you talk about politics, you are talking about to what extent you are willing to have the government put a gun to someone’s head. We need laws very much so, but we need to ensure their effectiveness. A healthy amount of skepticism is sensible on matters of politics, but not too much, one shouldn’t get carried away. Political views should be rational, not emotional.

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  2 comments for “An Effective Democracy

  1. Matthew Chiglinsky
    April 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Maybe there should be a quiz in the voting booth to test general political knowledge, and people who score higher on quiz will get their voted count more than people who score lower (whose votes are pretty meaningless and uninformed without the knowledge to back them up).

    • April 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      This is a neat idea, but I could see so many things going wrong with it in practice. I’d go the other direction and encourage more education instead.

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