Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Democracy – Carved In Stone Or Work-In-Progress?

Posted by hkarner - 19. Juli 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016, Observing GreeceKastner

Out of (still) 28 EU democratic member states, there are probably not any 2 countries with identical democratic systems. The voting age may differ; the representation rules may differ; there may be winner-take-all or not; etc. etc.
I would like to see this: suppose that there are 28 different forms of democracy in the EU, have each country show the results in each of these 28 variations. Who knows? Maybe there is a democratic scenario where Merkel would not be Chancellor. Or take the most extreme example: in the US, it is quite possible that one becomes President without a majority in the popular vote (happened several times). Is that ok?

Greece, or rather: SYRIZA, is currently attempting to change the electoral rules: where the largest party received a bonus of 50 seats (out of 300) in the past, SYRIZA now wants to eliminate that. True, democracy may be more pure if one eliminates bonuses like that but democratic systems should also make it easy to form a government.

Obviously, SYRIZA’s attempt is a play to assure its participation in government even when it is not the largest party. There probably is not a single Greek who doesn’t understand that.

On the other hand, and removed from day-to-day politics, it would certainly seem appropriate, if not even desirable, that politicians continually lead debates about how we want to govern ourselves. Be that at the country level or at the EU level.

That’s what the American Founding Fathers (and their successors) did and, yet, Barack Obama still aptly calls American democracy „work-in-progress“.

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