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Thursday, April 05, 2007

By the people, for the people, of the people ???

Yeah, I am talking about the "D" word! Next to the "F" word it is probably the most controversial word in the making.

Cannot help but hear it at least a few times a day, be it in India or the United States.

India : largest Democracy
USA : worlds largest exporter of Democracy

So much of this word that pretty soon it would be Democrazy!!

I am writing about this after I listened to Terry's interview of Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani Journalist, on public radio. It put the word in an all new context!

Democracy is what we want it to be, people. The funny thing is everyone votes, thinking there is a majority opinion out there that has finally made it! Even if the rule of law is not representative of the majority or the system, no one will ever know! Why ? Because the people is a large body and every individual is but a drop in the ocean.

Let us say you are someone like me wondering "why is there more war talk when almost all the people around me dont want the war ?" or "why are we adjusting the clock two weeks ahead, or why are we adjusting the clocks at all ?"...

Then maybe you rationalize the fact that there is war and daylight savings inspite of everyone around you telling you that they are against it, because there must be a great many people in the ocean of democracy who want the war and the daylight savings and they have the majority vote !!

However, they do announce in opinion polls etc., that <40% of the people support the war! Either people say they do not support it and are secretly voting for it or everyone thinks there are a majority of people who must want the war, when in reality it is a few smart people who know how Democracy really works!!

It works using "the other guys must have voted against what I voted for" syndrome!!

In India I used to ask myself "why in the world would anyone do a budget like this? pass a law like this ? etc. etc." and think "I am from the middle class. India is the land of the poor. Maybe the poor majority likes these rules.". But my theory would be dashed to pieces when people who are from poorer segments, like the maids who used to help with cleaning the house and dishes also agree with my ideas or say "they dont want those things either!". Same thing in the US of A with the War!!

Hope the genius in me has finally figured this out!

Now, on the lighter side, you have to watch this video. Puts some things in context while still being hilarious!



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4 Comments:

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

because of a copyright claim on it, the video was no longer available. what did it say?

and anyway, if you really want all decisions to truly reflect the voting majority, you need referendums on each and every issue.

- s.b.

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:40 AM, Blogger Pegasus wrote...

u cannot have referendums for every issue.... any idea how expensive and time consuming these elections are

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:44 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

S.B. the video was the Mad TV spoof .. on I-Rac and I-Ran!!

pegasus, no. I am not suggesting that there be referendums.. Just wondering how almost people from every cross section of society can want something, but a democratic government does something else.. take for example the Bandhs in India. every common man, rich or poor is inconvenienced by it! but the govenments elected by the people go through with it anyways. so what gives ?

:)

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

sundar:

pegasus was probably telling me that referendums are expensive. of course they are. that was not my point --> my point was that the only way anyone can do anything based on a voting majority is by holding a referendum on that topic. otherwise, the democratic system is the best alternative.

better yet would be a democracy where the leader sees the light when what he/she believes in - whatever it be - is out of public favour and he acts on it. in present day usa, that would mean that bush does something drastic to get the country out of iraq.

- s.b.

 

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