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And do you think most EU citizens have a better idea of what the EU is about?

A big part of the reason why I would have voted 'no' to the constitution was the way that the treaty was presented to "the populace". They treated people like children. There was no debate. The "constitution" was drafted as a way for the european political class to save face, and they called it a "constitution" to try to dupe people into identifying with it.

But the solution is obviously not to decide that an informed minority should make all decisions, but to try and inform the majority. Because, who decides who is "informed" and "worthy of a share in decision-making"? That's a decision, too.

Hence democracy, which is imperfect but better than most alternatives.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2006 at 04:29:23 PM EST
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I perfectly agree that the educated minority should inform the majority. And this was also my point in a comment that I recently posted as a response to a diary called "The essence of Fundamentalism," that democracy is imperfect, but it is still the best form of government so far, that political and social think tanks have come up with. The ignorance of the people about political issues is one of its weaknesses.
But, still, people are not aware. And it is not their fault, but is still the reality. And as soon as they get informed and politically sensitive, I would welcome the idea that they take part in the decision-making process.

You don't call a lawyer, when you need a plumber, right? This is my point. People that does not have knowledge in a certain domain, should not be allowed to perform its tasks.

by verchenceto (veronique@mail.bg) on Mon Feb 20th, 2006 at 04:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And as soon as they get informed and politically sensitive, I would welcome the idea that they take part in the decision-making process.

The decisions made by government affect them.  They, therefore, deserve the right to have a say in policy discussions.

You don't call a lawyer, when you need a plumber, right?

This is the same argument Plato made against (direct) democracy.  What he failed, miserably, to understand was that the elitist model is far more dangerous than the democratic model.  Oil companies know more about oil than I do, but does that mean they should have the right to make the decisions instead of me?  No.  You seem to think that politicians enjoy some kind of "skill" that the rest of us lack.  They don't.  They're people who look out for themselves by voting for proposals that will get them reelected.

Lawyers and plumbers study the proper workings of their crafts for years.  Politicians do not.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2006 at 05:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mr. Jones, it seems to me that you are countering every word I say. Ok, that is your prerogative as a member of this online community. However, objecting a point that is not there is what you failed, miserably, to understand. And who says that the elitist model is more dangerous than the democratic model? You?

And, yes, it is true that oil companies that know more about oil than you and I do, would make the decisions about their companies. If you are so positive, why do not you go to an oil company's CEO and propose that you make the decisions for today's work load instead of him and his or her associates. I am entirely sure they will let you do so. Just, do not forget to write back and share your implications.

True, politicians do not know all the rules of the game when they enter office. They learn step by step, as plumbers and lawyers do, as every single person does. What is more, politics is not mathematics, it is not an exact science. It is about mindset, rational thinking, proper assessment and critical estimation,and many other mental qualities that you do not seem to understand.

It seems to me that you despite politicians. If so, I do not blame you for calling them unskilled. In your opinion, politicians look only for themselves, and vote for whatever it is, just to get reelected. Well, Mr. Jones, I would like to assure you that there is still living the idea of being "politically correct." No doubt, politics is dirty. But what is not dirty in our contemporary  world? With the same ease you stigmatize and vilify politicians, you might as well slander any other social group. So, go ahead, which is next? The plumbers, maybe?

by verchenceto (veronique@mail.bg) on Mon Feb 20th, 2006 at 08:23:56 PM EST
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objecting a point that is not there is what you failed, miserably, to understand

That happens often in on-line (and not just on-line) discussions. It also happens that you meet on people who don't accept your most cherished, most basic ideas about the world. No need to take offence. (I write this as someone with rather strong disagreements with Drew, though probably entirely in other fields than you.)

yes, it is true that oil companies that know more about oil than you and I do, would make the decisions about their companies.

Methinks Drew was more thinking about energy policy and regulations, things presently outside of the decisionmaking power of those companies, and in the control of nominally democratic-controlled authorities and legislatives. (I.e., you object to something that wasn't there too.) Which is quite right so: oil companies want to maximise their profit, not minimise a country's energy dependence or awoid Peak Oil or guard your health safety.

They learn step by step, as plumbers and lawyers do, as every single person does. They learn step by step, as plumbers and lawyers do, as every single person does. What is more, politics is not mathematics, it is not an exact science. It is about mindset, rational thinking, proper assessment and critical estimation

Here I disagree with both of you. Drew assumes no special skill is assumed, you assume that special skill is all benevolent. I contend there is skill involved, unfortunately it is not the skill to get the best solutions for all but the skill to gain and retain power. There is a selection process. The best we can do is setting the selection criteria - i.e., let politicians advance on the basis of their good solutions to common problems.

Unfortunately, for the very same reason you don't trust democratic opinion, you shouldn't trust the elite model either: those elites are selected by a similarly 'dumb' population. (In a democracy, we are governed by those we deserve.)

It seems to me that you despite politicians.

Well... how old are you? :-) </snark, no need to be offended>

Well, Mr. Jones, I would like to assure you that there is still living the idea of being "politically correct."

I'm not sure you are using "politically correct" in the sense normally used in the English language. Did you mean it as 'doing the correct thing politically'? ('political correctness' in English means to use euphemisms used to awoid normal words that carry an offensive ring, say "black" instead of "negroe" or "mentally ill" instead of "crazy", or even to cleanse out sensitive material from works of art - say a film adaptation of Alexander The Great's life with a love story but without his homosexual relationships.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 07:20:33 AM EST
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Perfect.

Here I disagree with both of you. Drew assumes no special skill is assumed, you assume that special skill is all benevolent. I contend there is skill involved, unfortunately it is not the skill to get the best solutions for all but the skill to gain and retain power. There is a selection process. The best we can do is setting the selection criteria - i.e., let politicians advance on the basis of their good solutions to common problems.

Well, okay.  I'd like to change my vote to DoDo's interpretation. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 08:52:48 AM EST
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By the way, verchenceto, this is a blog.  Drop the "Mr. Jones" formalspeak. :)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 08:55:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the best form of government so far, that political and social think tanks have come up with.
Democracy was not invented in a think-tank.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 06:03:25 AM EST
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And it would be more correct to call it the least awful form of government, not the best.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 06:05:30 AM EST
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It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried - Winston Churchill
by toyg (g.lacava@gmail.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 07:44:14 AM EST
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One of the truly great Churchill quotes.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 08:54:31 AM EST
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People that does not have knowledge in a certain domain, should not be allowed to perform its tasks.
Please describe the qualifications you think people need in order to "be allowed to" get involved in societal decision making.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 06:07:50 AM EST
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