Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
And are we not confusing the representative role of a Parliamentarian with the technocratic role of senior civil servants?  It is at the very least arguable that the very poor decision making of the past Government had as much to do with the poor quality of the policy advice they received from the civil service as it had with the process by which they were elected.

No, we're confusing democracy with policy with government.

Just because people bothered to vote doesn't mean they're involved in government.

Elections are lost and not won because it's a key feature of Western democracy that governments can only be punished for bad actions after the event.

While peace has been maintained, it's been maintained at the cost of violence and damage to the economy as a whole, and to the lives of almost everyone in the country.

I don't think that counts as a win.

Pressuring governments before they act in ways that disregard the public interest is an option reserved for lobbyists and crony networks. The public isn't allowed to put pressure on policy before it's enacted - at least not without explicit threats of violence, which aren't in anyone's interest.

The challenge for all Western governments is to reinvent democracy as a live and responsive system that makes it difficult for cronies, cranks, and buffoons to use government for whimsical, corrupt, and self-defeating ends.

In a true democracy it would be somewhere between impossible and very difficult for representatives to sell, promote, or make decisions that go against majority public interest.

This might seem like fantasy - but that's just evidence of how necessary it is, and how badly broken the current system is.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Mar 9th, 2011 at 05:31:32 AM EST

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