I would never argue that Russell Brand is an expert on democracy or on governmental policy.  I don’t think he would either. I don’t think he has any particularly useful views on how the country should run and equally I think he would, himself, admit that my views carry the colour of truth.  He’s not about to set up his own political party but he did make a valid point, a point that I’ve been ruminating on for years, that this country is undemocratic.

I understand that this country has a voting system and that, in theory at least, it is set up on democratic principals but democracy is a complicated thing.  It’s not majority rules.  It’s not first past the post.  Democracy is, in many ways is a pursuit rather than an end,  it is a relationship between the political powers and the people based on trust and communication and like any relationship it needs constant work to be successful and the relationship between the ruling powers and the British population has broken down.  There’s no communication and the British public is demonstrating this by failing to vote.

In the elections last year only 15% of the population turned out to vote.  I hear the voices out here pointing out that it’s their own fault if they don’t use their right to a say but I go back to the metaphor of a relationship, if your partner was so convinced that you never listen to a word they said that they had simply stopped talking to you, you’d do something about it or one or other of you would soon be seeking a divorce.  In many ways that’s what Mr. Brand was referring to, the British people being so unhappy in their relationship with the government that they would take steps to end it.

I have a great deal of respect for Jeremy Paxman but in stating that taking drastic action against a government that is failing to engage with the people is undemocratic is plainly incorrect.  There is no democracy if the people are not represented.  The whole point of democracy is to represent the people.

I’m not calling for revolution.  I don’t believe that violence is ever the solution to anything but I do believe that something needs to change before it’s too late.

 

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