Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Catch-22 of Democracy

“In politics, the question seldom arises to do the ideal right. The best that is generally to be expected is to attain a certain object, and for the accomplishment of this object, many things have been done which are questionable, and… could not be approved of.” Wilfrid Laurier

Poor Laurier; he was a puppet, longing to go one place but maneuvered elsewhere by a determined people. He’s known as a compulsive compromiser, and compromise he did; usually at the expense of his principles. But how different is he from every other Canadian prime minister? In fact, how different is he than any democratically-elected politician?
Imagine, if you will, that the rare specimen, the principled politician, comes to power. He will soon be forced into a horrible dilemma; should he act according to his principles or according to the symbolic contract he signed onto? For “pure” democracy, that is, rule of the people by the people, demands that he follow popular opinion. Now, either road he chooses will be unprincipled.
Now, throw media and politics into the mix, and democracy quickly degenerates into a boiling cauldron of licentiousness, repression and tyranny (by majority or lobbyists, depending upon the degree of liberalism.) You see, democracy is doomed from its very start because it rests upon a flawed foundation; the supremacy of human reason. Hence, the need for a limited democracy, one that rests upon a biblically-based constitution.
--And now maybe I should get back to what this term paper is really about :)--


Scottie said...

Well, in the words of Winston Churchill, "Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Sarah Marie said...

yno ruth, ur right! i almost feel bad for those politicians. but i suppose it was their choice in the first place.

see ya later!

Laurie said...

I'm revealing my ignorance here but isn't Stephen Harper quite different from the rest and not nearly as swayed by country, press and party? Seems like he deserves some credit for that. (I'm American now... don't follow Canadian politics much :)

Ruth said...

I'm revealing my ignorance here too :) From what I've heard of Harper, he tries to play the part of the principled, Christian leader while bowing to populaced opinion... My political hero remains the honourable Stockwell Day, with President Bush running a close second :)

Laurie said...

Did I ever tell you I met Stockwell Day? He came in for an interview at the Times-Journal while I worked there, and I got to speak to him... Pretty proud of that. Now if I could just meet President Bush, that would be an honor :)

Anonymous said...

Well hello there Ruthie! It has been tooo long since we have seen you at Windmill. You will have to pop in when time allows.

I too am somewhat ignorant in political science, but my pipe dream is more of what I believe is called a "representative republic", and I believe our friends to the south in the good ol' USA are "supposed" to subscribe to this model. In such an environment Mr. Candidate says, "If I am elected, I will do such and such". His constituents elect him based on his the values he adheres to. Mr. Candidate then goes and does (or doesn't do) what he said he would. The constituents are stuck with the consequences.

Some examples of this that I can recall are President Ronald Reagan, Brian Mulroney, Mike Harris, and most recently our present flawed, but fairly good Prime Minsister, Stephen Harper.

In this world though as long as sinful men rule, sinful men will rule sinfully. (profound Hey?:))

That said, I am looking forward to the coming Monarchy, when the KING will have undisputed rule, and every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess Christ Christ as Lord of all.
My limited perspective.

Ruth said...

Amen brother! I miss hearing your wise advice, Anthony :)

Political Pragmatic Perceptions said...

This is why I love Bush so much as well. The media can't figure out why his approval ratings are "deathly low" and yet he keeps on going about his business doing what he means to do in the best ways he can.
It's interesting, in the U.S. political realm, to note the vast difference between majority democrats and majority republicans: Republicans vote based on conscience and a vague-to-brilliant understanding of teh issues. Democrats tend to vote based on party lines only and actually feel proud for supporting hopeless men like John Kerry who would have robbed their wallets. Go figure :)