Farewell democracy? Changes in Greece, Italy show fragility of democratic ideal [OPINION]

Greece has a new leader. Italy too, almost. But no-one has voted for them. The new leaders are being imposed by their political colleagues because time is short and there’s no time for the usual democratic process. Plus, the general public might vote for the wrong solution. Best leave the difficult decisions to the political elite who have always been so good at these things. Hang on a minute…

Let’s look at Greece first. Wave after wave of rescue deals saw little result. Finally, president George Papandreou accepted another rescue proposition but had the nerve to suggest that this time, the Greek people should vote on it. The rest of Europe threw a fit. Papandreou beat a hasty repeat and paid for the mistake with his job. A new leader, Lucas Papademos, has been installed. Meet the new boss…

Meanwhile in Italy there is much talk of whether an election should be called to decide the country’s new leader. Now there’s a novel idea! Give the people, the ones who really have to live through the recessions and downgrades, the chance to say what they think. Sure, the people might get it wrong. But give them a chance. At almost every opportunity, the political elite across Europe has totally f*cked up.

And what about this for a thought? Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, everyone in Europe (more or less) has access to the internet. We don’t need politicians any more. We can all vote on the big decisions day in and day out. An educated, informed general public could vote on things referendum-style, 365 days a year. The old system, of votes every four or five years, is so old-fashioned, it almost creaks. Yes, my idea has some faults that need ironing out. But are you really going to suggest that the current system is any better? Let’s try something new.


About Michael R. Gideon

Writer, teacher, dog walker, guitarist, husband, father, reader, journalist etc. I mainly write at 100gf | Politics and Computers, but occasionally at other sites such as TV Vomit and Indie Bookspot. My Google Plus profile.


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