Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Failure of Democracy and lack of Intellectual Thought

Is our democracy working?

The writers of our constitution merely copied Westminster paying little heed to the need for developing further checks and balances to allow the democratic institutions to evolve and take root.

Remember England has a system that is fully in motion having evolved over centuries. We, on the other hand, have to start a new system.

As any mechanical engineer will be able to tell our learned controllers of thought, the laws of motion tell us that starting up a system is harder than maintaining the momentum of a system that is already running.

We have to jump start the democratic system and then try to warm up the engine so that it will maintain its momentum. As our friendly mechanical engineer will tell us, this requires considerable power and careful monitoring.

You cannot just turn the ignition of election once and have a perfectly working system. Other safeguards and perhaps continuous and rapid ignition thrusts may be required. For example, might not quick, annual elections for, say ten years at least, enforce more responsible behavior from the politicians.

And could more constitutional amendments not be made to introduce a variety of checks and balances that seek to distribute power and not concentrate it, for concentration of power is indeed corrupting.


Historical evidence has shown:

  • Time and again we have seen that elections, as currently conducted, return the same individuals that have pillaged the country both in our democratic and non-democratic periods.
  • Elections alone, have failed to produced responsible or even itnelligent government. The methods of government, the law books, and the institutions remain unchanged whether we have democracy or not. Success has not been achieved after many attempts at jump-starting.
  • The engine of democracy is clogged by a legislature that time and again involves itself not with its principal task of legislation but with personal aggrandisment and childish games.

Perhaps, it is time we learnt from our learned mechanical engineer.

Let us carefully look at our design of democracy and see how we can alter it to achieve a democratic outcome and not just observe democratic form.

Let us seek to better define democracy and that which we want from democracy. Having defined the term and our objectives, let us consider the best means available to achieve those objectives. Only thus might it be possible to foster the development of an elected leadership more interested in delivering democracy and our society's objectives to us than in lining their pockets.

Might not a debate on the modalities produce a better design for democracy?

Our elected representative such as they are have begun to debate an amendment. What surprises me is why are our intellectuals silent on this important issue? So Please tell me what amendments to the constitution would you like to see