The best way to govern is to let the people decide. Do you agree?

Intro: When Thomas Hobbes first smoke of the liberties of man, he made it clear that our ability to act depends on our physical and mental limitations. His ideas were a precursor to the modern global movement on the human right to free will, choice and democracy.

YES

1Minority groups will have a platform to make themselves heard, reducing racial conflicts born from differences. Hence, leading to a more egalitarian state.

E.g. Minority groups like Tibetans have been sidelined and denied they right to practice their minority culture. This led to the branding of their leader, the Dalai Lama, as a terrorist to the Han Chinese and incited mass riots in Xin Jiang. By giving minority groups a say in their lives, we are able to work out a compromise with them, and thus cohabit and live alongside one another peacefully by accepting their cultural differences.

2.  Could lead to clashes due to conflicting interests, but while these skirmishes can be seen as a spark plug that ignites anti-government sentiments, it creates a vent for people to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to strengthen the nation.

E.g. In the 1980s, former Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, proposed a ‘Graduate Mothers Scheme’ which awards fresh graduates who married each other incentives to encourage the passing down of ‘superior genes’ to create a more smart and elite next generation. But, people said that it was flawed and a discriminatory policy. Thus, giving people a say ensures that policies are tempered with reason and moral ethics.

NO

  1. The inherent bias of the people will lead to the failure of governance.

The hoi polloi are not an enlightened class, noble in temperament and rational in thought. They are a squabbling pack of occasional bigots, comfortable in their foibles ad willing to embrace short term gains to the detriment of others because they lack the perspicuity to know an better. But they form the majority and vote in representatives on the belief that the said representatives will fulfil their promises.

E.g. Both Greece’s and Italy’s governments have run into bankruptcy as they have spent years flagrantly beyond their means, with profligacy ad their by-word. The populace only saw immediate benefits of the welfare system such as early retirement and free healthcare. When political parties dangled that as an election carrot, people fell for it hook, line and sinker not realising the costs of cold austerity and economic paralysis that were long presaged.

2.  Contrary to our over-romanticised view of democracy, the rule of the people can fail to achieve progress.

The majority-vote system is loaded with many friable assumptions, that if a party represents the majority, the diverse interests of that majority will be encapsulated within. However, in reality, pragmatics politicians merely need to fill parliament with enough of his seats regardless of how ruthlessly they were bribed or coerced into being given

E.g. Thaksin Shinawatra’s and Vladimir Putin’s governments have both, in their game plans, ingratiated themselves with the middle class to get elected, then forsaken them in favour of the huge majority of proletariats. The middle class’ interests were forgotten and the elected leaders couldn’t be trusted. The elected have putatively the people’s mandate and should represent everyone’s interest.

 

 

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