The Problem: Exclusive Democracy

… Politically speaking, the [person] is still in the nursery who has not absorbed … the saying ‘What the businessmen do not understand is that exactly as they are dealing in oil, so I am dealing in votes’.”[1]

Exclusive Democracy, Canada’s current “top-down” form of democracy, has evolved into a political system that generates highly polarized citizens, highly polarized political parties, and highly polarized government.

Exclusive Democracy has not evolved to consistently include, or make an attempt to functionally recognize, the needs of all of the people all of the time. For example, are we creating a new class of citizens? Call it the “minimum wage “ class.

The principal intention of democracy is to have communication flow from the people to government, where the expressed needs will be turned into national policy and “laws of the land”.  Unfortunately, the political parties, in their overwhelming need to be in power, have reversed the voter communication process. Whereas the MPs were to carry the message from the constituents, those representatives now deliver the party elite’s exclusive platform to the voters. The resulting polarization of parties, along ideological lines, has created an inequality gap in society which manifests in ever-widening standard of living differentials which are evident to the populace, and not happily so.

“… In fact, political prejudice has become our most accepted form of bigotry. … What today’s voters see is not a candidate, or a set of policy proposals, but a party affiliation …  a political label …,  a symbolic colour. But imagine a world without such labels.”[2]

Additionally, human rights and other issues, have not been adequately addressed, if addressed at all. Fortunately, with information flow increasing via the internet, aided by communications advances and social media, a wider swath of the populace has become aware of the actions and deficiencies of government. A positive outcome of this evolution stems from the ever-increasing willingness of the citizens to “take to the streets” in protest – an attempt to wrest away from the political parties the control of information flow; and to be included in policy deliberations.

As control begins to slip from the political party elites, the extinction of Exclusive Democracy is hastened. It would be unwise to not address the void created. Witness the increasing number of autocracies, and autocratic initiatives, around the world. It has become evident that multi-party governance is not up to the task of maintaining effective democracy.

A new Era of democracy is needed. Arguably Inclusive Democracy may be the saviour of democracy.

Sun Sets on Exclusivity

A sunset over a city

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[1] Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) – Joseph A. Schumpeter HarperCollins, Publishers – Third Edition (2008)

[2] What If We Got Rid of Political Parties?