No freedom in a representative democracy. Or, how a doctor 1000 of miles away prescribed me with a healthy dose of liberty!Submitted by J.P on Mon, 08/11/2014 - 15:42
In this fourth story, I will tell you how many of my political convictions suddenly became obsolete or completely irrelevant! A new seed was planted in 2007. The seed has since sprouted and grown and today I feel a lot better about myself; my role in society; more tolerant toward my fellow citizens.
First things first, you will need to see where I came from, to understand the change that happened.
In Denmark, we have our own “constitution”, the direct translation is “The basic Law”, but it’s a constitution. It dates back to 1849, and was signed by the king on 5th of June. This marked the end of an absolute monarchy, and the beginning of a constitutional monarchy. The king signing the law, lost all real power, and from that day had neither political power nor responsibility.
Representative democracy is the name of our game:
179 members of parliament in 1 chamber only. The 179 members are split over a lot of different parties (today 12 parties are represented in our parliament) 2 members are from Greenland, 2 are from the Faroe Islands.
Every 4 years we vote, any party that can muster 2% of the general vote is represented in the parliament for the next 4 years. To get on the ballot for a new party takes 20.000 signatures. (Population of 5+ million).
Election year is always a great give-away-contest. Who can promise the most, to the largest number of people, will have a good election!
Time for an example:
Let’s create a political party called SENIORS FOR THE WIN, and find 20.000 seniors to sign a pledge of support. Now we will be on the ballot in the upcoming election.
We take it to the streets; we will campaign for massive increase in benefits for seniors: more money, better service, larger discounts, longer life!
The more votes our party will get, the more representatives we will be in parliament. Since we have had a decrease in newborn babies for a long time in Denmark, and since we live longer and longer, our target group is growing every year, I think we are on to a winning strategy!
And since this was our only promise during the election campaign, we can offer our support for all other parties, in all other political questions, on the condition that we will get a bigger and better slice of the cake for the people we represent (the seniors).
Do you see the problem? Do you see the long term consequences awaiting us?
There can be no real liberty, when the majority can rule over the minority. When the smaller group falls prey to the larger group.
I had never questioned our political process here, until 2008. That’s when I realized that the democracy was not equal to freedom. In fact they are often opposites. What we often do to people “for their own good”, is in fact a violation of their freedom.
2008, That was the year I let go of my day to day political interests here in Denmark. All the talk, all the talking heads: none of them were addressing the real issues: liberty!
And here is how it sounds when Liberty is defended by a champignon! (South Carolina 2011):
From an ocean away, with a sea of LOVE!