Wednesday, 16 November 2016

What if democracy fails?

Last Wednesday was so déjà vu. Woke up in the morning to learn of a Trump triumph, reminding me of how I felt when on June 24th I learned Britain had voted for Brexit.

Truth be told, I had not really been following the US elections. They tend to be very long drawn out and frankly, I did not have the time, or I was bored, or both.

Social media of course provided the drip-drip-drip of news as friends and some friends of friends 'liked' various links and pages. I continued to be misinformed/underinformed. I did not think I could change the outcome in any way.

Brexit is not the same as Trump. Why he managed to win had been discussed to death. What I am interested in is the aftermath.

Protesters on the streets.



Had Clinton won, would there be similar protests, riots and vandalism?

Someone had gone to court to challenge if Britain can now actually Brexit without the parliamentarians approving of what the majority of Britons who bothered to vote decided in a once-in-a-lifetime decision.

When the Brits first voted in a referendum to join the EU, did this require approval by parliamentarians?

If a referendum could get us into the EU, why can't a referendum get us out of EU?

I digress.

Obama was elected because he promised people that he could 'be the change'. Were there protesters on the streets when Obama won? Trump -- as would be the case of any incoming presidential candidate -- was also that he could make much-needed change in government.

So it's OK for a Democrat to be elected to 'be the change', but not a Republican?

So it is OK for the Democrats to win by a specific democratic process, but not the Republicans?

Are these protesters saying that democracy is bad, or only good - and acceptable - when it goes the way of the Democrat?

Otherwise, change the democratic process! Yes, as we have seen it done in Singapore.

The US have their electoral college. We have our GRCs. Apparently there is now a petition for the candidate who gets the most number of votes to be declared the winner. So, just one vote more than your opponent would make you a winner (really?). Forget about the electoral college!

The words 'baby' and 'bath water' come to mind.

One of my favourite courses at university was social and political philosophy. (Thank you, Mr Pang.) We looked at every other option and decided that despite the shortcomings of democracy (as in the 'majority rules', or even the 'tyranny of the majority'), the other available options are worse.

A dictator perhaps? So there is corruption and factions. A dictator will sort it.

Look at dictators around the world, past and present. How do you get rid of a dictator once they are in power? They keep changing the rules to keep themselves in power. That is Dictatorship 101.

Democracy sucks if your side loses. Of course. I've had to live with it for the past 20+ years in Britain. In local government, the mayoral post in London, the House of Commons, the EU parliament ... I seemed always to have backed the wrong horse. My favoured candidate somehow always lost. But life goes on. I wait for the next chance to vote these people out.

Trump might be the demon personified. What do I do? I can do nowt, except pray and believe that my sovereign God will overrule whatever unsavoury decisions that politicians and presidents might make.


Meanwhile I help my neighbours, encourage friends, minister to the downtrodden, etc. I cannot change the world. But I can make a difference in the people I come into contact with every day, one person at a time.


I don't always agree with Piers Morgan. His observations here are pretty accurate:
Memo to millennials, that awful feeling you've got is called losing. It happens. If you want to know how to win, stop whinging for a bit and learn some lessons from Trump

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