All my life it had been one on my underlying and - unquestioned assumptions that it is. So much so that I didn’t realise it was, or question it in any way.
But is it really? There is much talk of the will of the people and the wisdom of crowds, but is this always a good thing, does it always produce a positive result.
Democracy depends on a rational, sensible, responsible and interested and reasonably educated electorate. It further requires that they actually pay attention to what they are voting for and deciding upon.
That they consider what it might be like to be actually subject themselves to the policies, laws and rule by the politicians they are keen on.
What it might be like if they were not in charge, but on the receiving end.
That they actually think through the likely consequences of policies and dogma to their logical conclusions and not simply rely on simpleminded wrote. Parliament please take note of the last.
Democratic processes don’t always produce desirable results. Hitler rose to power through the democratic process, as did the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. Surely no voter in their right mind would want such to rule over them?
Democracy isn’t necessarily guaranteed to provide, or protect the rights, liberty, safety and the wellbeing of the citizen - We assume it is so, but it is not necessarily so.
A case in point is Pakistan. What will the democratic process, if it is allowed to continue, throw up there? Many of the elements that have so destabilised Iran are present to some extent there.
It is not simply a matter of academic interest, or even one of humanitarian interest. Pakistan possesses atomic weaponry. If it Pakistan becomes a detsabilised failed state then that is likely to fall into the hands of Islamicist terrorists. There are elements there who would like nothing better.
Are democracy and the universal suffrage that the West have placed such blind faith in promoting there sure to produce a positive result? Or is it possible Pervez Musharraf may be a better protector of the rights and the liberty of the Pakistani citizen than he is given credit for.
I am not willing to abandon democracy, but realistically - it seems that sometimes turkeys will vote for Christmas after all…