IS IT YOU, ME … OR DEMOCRACY?

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By Peter Wingate

A close friend of mine recently informed me that she didn’t vote at the last election because the current crop of pollies “don’t deserve her vote”.

Swallowing my ‘you-get-what-you-deserve-in-a-democracy’ incredulity, and resolvedly steering myself away from soap-box interrogations concerning her actual communication with said pointless pollies, I didn’t pursue it further… for fear of being driven to dent my host’s nearest wall and perhaps my skull, or both.

Frustrations aside, it did get me thinking about why so many politician-employing patsies (i.e. you and me) display seemingly counterintuitive behaviour when engaging (or not engaging) in the democratic process.

Not only do some of us purposely discard our most effective privilege to create meaningful change but -shock horror – some actually vote for lying bastards knowing that self-interest is their raison d’etre. Neither of these responses make for a happy relationship between those that govern, and those that put them there in the first place.

Or is the toxic relationship the result of a rejection (conscious or not) of the concept of democracy and its pesky ‘everyone gets a say’ logic?

Where was the legally-binding vote on our system of government? They may have been able to carry off the bed-sheet-as-clothing look, but the Ancient Greek concept of power-to-the-people democracy is perhaps the most burdensome political system it is possible to concoct.

Think about it: the governing structure upon which our society hangs places power at once with the individual citizen, the nation as a whole, and the mandated politician. All three entities hold all of the power simultaneously; like some secular Holy-Trinity analogy or Schrodinger’s cat metaphor, all democratic power is at once fully vested in each of the three independent constructs, yet they cannot exist without each other… Hey, each hold all the power and none of the power at the same time.

So, I’ll leave you with that less-than-simple thought to ponder (or make you yearn for a white wine and a lie-down).

Where do you sit in the power relationship of democracy… do you hold the power, reject the power, or wonder if it evens exists?

Fear of success? Subconscious self-loathing… healthy scepticism (the foundation of any good democracy) turned to self-important cynicism?

Middle of the road compromise…

Too-good-to-be-true? Rather than be pushed towards political agendas that rally against the status quo of self-serving slippery-speak, do agendas promoting integrity, accountability and ethics seem impossible in relation?

THE WINGATE DUMBOCRACY: Peter Wingate immigrated to Yarraville from the leafy East before it was even trendy and likes to spend his days studying education (don’t get an education, just study it), cooking, avoiding making art, and pondering fantasies like living in a representative democracy that is one and, having his hands around the neck of <insert name of particularly inane politician here>

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