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TOPIC: Can you have too much democracy?

Can you have too much democracy? 5 days 11 hours ago #3596199

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Anyone following political threads in the last four years, obviously in the USA, but also in Britain over Brexit, might wish to call into question whether it is possible to have "too much democracy", and whether the danger of " mob rule" needs to be focussed upon more, where lies, Fake news, partisanship become all our political systems come to be about.

I won't say much more here, but give just one example where the pervasiveness of negative campaigning, and its destructive power can be shown to full effect. At the recent US presidential election a sitting president who styled himself as a.nonpolitician before being elected in 2016, (with plenty of truth in that statement for sure), faced a candidate who had been a senator for forty seven years.

In any other era I can think of an experienced politician against a greenhorn should be no contest, only one winner, the breadth of knowledge required, political skills, diplomatic contacts, all these things would have been seen as crucial, plus there was some deference towards experienced leaders I believe.

And yet we all witnessed then president Trump trying to assert, with some success politically, that in forty seven years as a senator, (and vice president let's not forget), Joe Biden had achieved nothing at all.

I don't want to refight the US election, and obviously the US public didn't entirely buy the.negative campaign tactic, as Joe Biden managed to get across the idea of a better future obviously, but how close it came to the "disruptor in chief" winning a second term has to make us all think about democracy I !feel, and whether it can continue down the road we've so clearly witnessed(?).

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Can you have too much democracy? 5 days 4 hours ago #3596248

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Populists in Power: Perils and Prospects in 2021

institute.global/policy/populists-power-...s-and-prospects-2021
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"Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the democratic process and peaceful transfer of power illustrate the risks associated with populist leaders, who undermine the norms and institutions on which liberal democracy depends. But Trump is just the most salient example of populists in power around the world. Our annual study takes stock of the prevalence of populist leaders globally at the start of 2021.

We find that the number of populist leaders in power around the world is down from its mid-2010s high, but it is close to the same level as at the start of the last decade. The composition of populist leaders in power has shifted. Cultural populists now constitute the majority of all populist leaders.

Trump’s loss may constrain other populist leaders around the world as they will likely have less international support and voters may become tired of their antics. But his absence is unlikely to damage their electoral prospects since most came to power before Trump was elected and base their support on domestic issues. Most are savvy and will adjust their behaviour accordingly.

US institutions are strong and held up against Trump’s attempts to subvert them. Countries with weaker institutions may be less likely to withstand a similar onslaught by a populist leader."

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Can you have too much democracy? 4 days 20 hours ago #3596367

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"A quote ascribed to Franklin says, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."
The quote is contested, but it does illustrate the need for limits.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass ... it's about learning to dance in the rain!
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Can you have too much democracy? 4 days 10 hours ago #3596526

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I think in the US democracy would be better served by getting rid of the electoral college and the senate.
One of the arguments against that is the "mob rule" argument. Some claim that that is what the forefathers were thinking about when they set up the system we have today. That's true to some extent but at the time; "Only white men age 21 and older who own land can vote." Then "the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants full citizenship rights, including voting rights, to all men born or naturalized in the United States." So from the beginning voting requirements were restricted to an elite so to speak.
The slave states were worried about "states rights" regarding slavery. They did not want a federal government with too much power which would be a threat to slavery.
The senate is explained as a way to keep states rights in play in the federal government so more populous states would not force legislation on states that would not want certain federal laws.
The electoral college is framed the same way.
In my opinion those arguments do not hold water, a democracy is majority rule and that cannot be hostage to let's say Wyoming (578,759) over CA (39,512,223). In the senate Wyoming has the same representation as CA.
The last two Republican Presidents lost the popular vote and won the electoral college.
“Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think.”

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Can you have too much democracy? 4 days 6 hours ago #3596545

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altshovel wrote: I think in the US democracy would be better served by getting rid of the electoral college and the senate.
One of the arguments against that is the "mob rule" argument. Some claim that that is what the forefathers were thinking about when they set up the system we have today. That's true to some extent but at the time; "Only white men age 21 and older who own land can vote." Then "the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants full citizenship rights, including voting rights, to all men born or naturalized in the United States." So from the beginning voting requirements were restricted to an elite so to speak.
The slave states were worried about "states rights" regarding slavery. They did not want a federal government with too much power which would be a threat to slavery.
The senate is explained as a way to keep states rights in play in the federal government so more populous states would not force legislation on states that would not want certain federal laws.
The electoral college is framed the same way.
In my opinion those arguments do not hold water, a democracy is majority rule and that cannot be hostage to let's say Wyoming (578,759) over CA (39,512,223). In the senate Wyoming has the same representation as CA.
The last two Republican Presidents lost the popular vote and won the electoral college.


The example you give is startling, roughly half a million voters in one state elect the same number of senators (is it, or electoral college votes?) In Wyoming, compared with thirty nine and a half million voters electing their senators in CA, (California?).

I'd not necessarily disagree with an electoral college system but disparity such as that should be addressed to some extent, (else you're almost into "no taxation without representation" territory, or "fair representation anyway!).

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Can you have too much democracy? 4 days 4 hours ago #3596554

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The example you give is startling, roughly half a million voters in one state elect the same number of senators (is it, or electoral college votes?) In Wyoming, compared with thirty nine and a half million voters electing their senators in CA, (California?).

Sorry for the confusion.
The electoral college is different. The states vote for the electors in each state. The majority of votes in a state gets all the electors. So if a state votes 51% for a candidate all the electoral votes go to the winner. So there can be an overall voter majority across the nation and the electoral college might go the other way. That's pretty common. So the upshot is a president can win the electoral college vote but not the majority vote of the people. In this election Biden got both the electoral college and the popular vote.
The Senate is two per state no matter what the population is in the state. So like I said Wyoming with 500k people has the same representation in the senate as California's 32 million.
“Someone has said that it requires less mental effort to condemn than to think.”
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