The UK enters the most important week in the history of its ancient democracy at a time when trends in social attitudes and tech capabilities bode ill for the future of democracy in multiple countries. Some of the numbers in this presentation will amaze you, if you have not already encountered them. All who care need to act, and soon. Beyond the need for immediate pressure for the empowerment of true democrats, my starter for ten is in the last slide.
This presentation is an update of my last summary on this subject, in July 2018.
Those who would like the original powerpoint, with source urls as notes, can find it – with all my other source files, for free use – in this folder.
There’s much to be worried about here.
But I think opinion polls suggesting that people are disgusted with democracy can be misread.
People are disgusted, rightly, with the farces that pass for democracy in the US and the UK. But we know that in both countries, electoral systems are deeply flawed, that corporate money (not least fossil fuel money) is used to game the system, and that the effects of interference from black propaganda on social media remain unquantified.
Your recommendations have a big gap – they need to address the role of money in politics. There needs to be complete transparency of party political funding, and an outright ban on funding other than by individuals, and that needs to be capped.
First-past-the-post and proportional representation electoral systems, which both misrepresent the electorate, should be scrapped in favour of hybrid systems like the Scottish Parliament.
Presidents and prime ministers are like a nasty hangover from the age of monarchy that give too much power and prestige to single individuals and should be scrapped in favour of systems like the Swiss Federal Council: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Council_(Switzerland)
Political parties, which contribute to political artherosclerosis, should be disbanded en masse every 20 years.