Friday, June 03, 2011

Government by the people

Give us Barabbas!

Make us a golden calf!

Give us back the fleshpots of Egypt!

Some years ago, I was speaking with a pro-life campaigner who had been in the front of the political fight for many years. This is a person who has spent much of his life working with politicians, organising petitions, rallies, protests; having meetings with cabinet ministers, senators and MPs; making speeches, organising conferences... doing all those things that one does in a modern liberal democracy to try to get things done.

I was new and learning the ropes and was only just starting to understand what my opinions on it all were going to be. I had of course grown up all my life in one of these so-called liberal democracies. Specifically, I had grown up at the time when it was all the rage to start using those political mechanisms to bring about massive societal changes, changes the extent of which we are only just now coming to understand.

My friend said that he had dedicated his life to the democratic process and was lamenting that it had availed so little. Of course, I told him that these things do not happen over night and that it is not for us to look for the results of our work, especially when it is being done on so large a scale, and the war is so immense, a vast battlefield from horizon to horizon.

But then I asked what was to become my personal million dollar question: "What if what the people want is wrong?"

My friend had no answer.

Daniel Hannan, a die-hard democrat in the "conservative" end of the pool, writes what I think is possibly one of the most telling editorials on the shortcomings of this system I have seen in a long time...
Congratulations to Lawrence Gonzi, the prime minister of Malta. He campaigned strongly to keep the island’s ban on divorce. But, faced with a clear defeat in yesterday’s referendum, he conceded graciously: “Even though the result is not what I wished for, now it is our duty to see that the will of the majority is respected.”

And guess what? He’s still prime minister, his – admittedly tiny – parliamentary majority is still in place and no one is calling for him to be replaced. On the contrary, he has shown himself to be good democrat.

A good democrat.

A good democrat will legalise absolutely ANYthing as long as it is the "will of the people," yes?