Allan Takes Aim Blog

Democracy: use it or lose it

Posted on: 23 March 2013

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Democracy: use it or lose it

I used to look at people who subscribe to the theory that if you don’t use it you lose it as if they needed their head read. To test their theory, a few months ago I decided to give up writing about politics for a time and see what happened. Well unless someone can come up with a good reason as to why the theory doesn’t work all I can say is I reached the stage where for a short while I thought might need to see a head reader.

As for my possible conversion from non – believer to believer, discard any notion you have that my conversion is due to any lack of capacity for indulging in writing about what I think an interesting and at times pleasurable activity. When I say that perhaps you question my sanity for thinking that writing about politicians is a pleasurable activity.

Some of you might even think of sending me a message saying that if I get pleasure in writing about politicians then I need my head read. On the other hand some people might write to say that instead of writing about politicians I should write about how to ensure that a really pleasurable activity does not help contribute to an increase in the birth rate.

Over the years some people have written to me on that subject but what I found surprising was that while most of them confessed to having more than two children they now think three children is one too many. Occasionally I wrote back asking how they explained to the one too many why they were a mistake. I’m still waiting for a reply.

Some letter also came from heartbroken people who, for medical reasons, were unable to father or bear a child. And without any wish to get to get into a philosophical debate about the issue people who for religious reasons have made a genuine choice not to get married and have children also wrote to me. And let me make the point that for me there is a difference between being a father or mother and being described as a parent. It may be a fine distinction but one can be the latter without being the former.

But let me return to politics and restate my position that I was testing the theory in relation to politics. Now you might think that a strange think for a self-confessed aficionado of politics to say. And you’re right. Unfortunately, supporters of the theory might also be right

The reason: because politics have become homogenous writing about them day after day and saying the same things has become almost automatic. Indeed much reportage of politics seems to have been written by journalistic automatons because no matter which newspaper you read the political reports seem the same. And much the same thing can be said of radio and TV reports.

I don’t know whether or not most of you get the papers or listen to the political reports on radio and TV. Mind you I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. But that’s not the media’s fault it’s the fault of those we elect to parliament who in many cases are automatons.

Why is this? It seems to me that we get automatons in parliament because we don’t question them hard enough before elections about why they want to become politicians. In any case, ninety nine times out of a hundred their reply would be: I want to make a difference.

That said I’d like to make a suggestion. At the next election if you get a chance to ask a question and get that answer you should then follow up with the question: in which area of living do you want to make a difference. Don’t be surprised if the reply sounds like gobbledygook. It is.

As a final note let me say that if you think the saying if you don’t use it you can lose it would seem to have greater practical application when speaking of activities other than politics, you’d be wrong. Politics is a democratic process the loss of which would be catastrophic.

Comments welcome.




1 Response to "Democracy: use it or lose it"

Unfortunately, we could have 100% participation in voting but little would change. Until we get candidates worth voting for, candidates other than those put up by the major parties who are seldom if ever worth voting for, little will change. It may be our fault for who we elect but if all we have bad, worse and terrible as choices is it really our fault?

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