I am not a fan of democracy. The belief that the vote of the majority is the best form of government is questionable to say the least. Poverty, violence, addictive behaviour, unhappiness are widespread in democracy. Do our politicians express the will of the majority? There is an epidemic of alcohol abuse, drug addiction, depression and compulsive spending. Wisdom and compassion ought to be the criteria. If democracy is not working, why on Earth do we want to convert with missionary zeal the rest of the world to a two party state, corporate ownership of all resources and individuals into consumers? Our mad ideology with its belief in self, choice and status expresses a pathological form of conditioning that goes unexamined.
In the UK, we are still waiting for democracy. We have a two party state. It is hair splitting to know the difference between the Labour and Conservative Party. Corporate power dominates people’s lives. Only 60% of the population bothers to vote. Like the USA, more and more poor people and various ethnic communities see little point in voting. No one in power takes any notice of his or her deeper interests. Only one in five people actually voted for the British government that has a healthy majority. Perhaps we should call is demo-crass.
During my stay in Australia, the government called a general election. The Australian government demands compulsory voting – despite a very restricted choice in the capacities, insights and vision of the candidates and parties. Voters threw out the existing government. The electorate was sick to death of Australia as the poodle of the United States, the treatment of desperate refugees seeking solace and comfort in Australia, the refusal of the government to sign the Kyoto Climate Change Agreement. The government has refused to apologise for government policies in the past towards the desperately unhappy Aboriginal people. As recent as the early 1970’s, Aboriginal children were removed from their families and “assimilated” in the homes of white families as part of government policy. These children many thousand of them, have come be known as the “missing generation. There is a sense in Australia that the government has neglected addressing the health, education and social problems in this huge country with a wealth of natural resources and a tiny population of 20,000,000 to support.
The Prime Minster, John Howard, actually lost his seat. I am not an enthusiast of democracy but there is certain sweetness when the power of the people unceremoniously evicts their Prime Minister. He had represented his constituency for about 30 years. I found myself shaking my fist in delight that the Prime Minister and his party got their marching orders.