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February 8, 2008 | by  | in Online Only |
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Why bother voting?

Ive been thinking recently, about deep issues, theories, policies and the like. One thing that has struck me throughout my political scholarship has been a steadfast belief in the sanctity of democratization and democracy. No one has even sat me down and explained why this reverence exists.

At first blush it seems obvious that democracy is useful, in theory it upholds a sense of collective unity, fairness and tries to provide the laudable aim of giving power to the people. Original democracy wasn’t intended to work like that, it merely gave power to the land owners, but universal suffrage prevailed and now every tom dick and harry can get their rocks off each election.

But they don’t. And its surprising that they don’t – surely something like democracy with such sanctity, reverence and inherent value should be defended and supported by everyman, regardless of political, personal, or religious creed. It seems that underpinning democracy is foundation much akin to the argument for human rights, no one can really explain it, its just there and we should accept it as such. Its the ruling political hegemony – perhaps its best to leave it be.

But in todays modern world, there are two important requirements for democracy to work properly – an educated and informed populace coupled with a free, fair and vibrant fourth estate. Arguments can definitely be made for the latter lacking this quality, and I would contend that in a society where Britney Spears’ managers restraining order gets more coverage than the sectarian violence in Chad or Kenya (not to mention issues here at home) the former is severely lacking as well.

So whats the answer? We’ve tried fascism, and the Spanish had a brief fling with anarchism – both were spectacular failures. Perhaps the day truly has come for Plato’s philosopher kings?

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About the Author ()

Conrad is a very grumpy boy. When he was little he had a curl in the middle of his forehead. When he was good, he was moderately good, but when he was mean he was HORRID. He likes guns, bombs and shooting doves. He can often be found reading books about Mussolini and tank warfare. His greatest dream is to invent an eighteen foot high mechanical spider, which has an antimatter lazer attached to its back.

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  1. Salient » Why do we bother voting? | February 8, 2008
  1. Derek says:

    I see democracy as the lesser of the many evils that are governmental systems. Theoretically every man & woman can have his or her say though it is actually somewhat an illusion how much your say actually means.

    It also provides the most credible backing for the government to make policies (“you voted us in and all that”).

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