Download e-book for kindle: Against Elections: The Case for Democracy by David Van Reybrouck

By David Van Reybrouck

ISBN-10: 1847924220

ISBN-13: 9781847924223

Democracy is in undesirable health and wellbeing. the indications are customary: the increase of fear-mongering populists, common mistrust within the institution, character contests, and point-scoring in preference to reasoned debate, slogans rather than expertise. opposed to Elections offers a brand new analysis —and an historical treatment. David Van Reybrouck reminds us that the unique goal of elections used to be to exclude the folk from energy by means of appointing an elite to control over them. He demonstrates how through the years their influence has been to minimize the people's participation in govt to an absolute minimal, be certain energy continues to be within the arms of these who already wield it, and strength politicians to pass judgement on regulations now not on their benefits yet on their chance to win or lose votes. and that is whilst elections move good. but for many of democracy's 3000-year background governments weren't selected by means of election in any respect: they have been appointed, very like the jury method, via a mixture of volunteering and lottery. Drawing on colossal studying, a world array of proof, and an increasing number of winning trials, Against Elections demonstrates how a worldly and functional model of this old method might paintings at the present time and hence put off the underlying explanation for democracy's affliction. pressing, heretical, and entirely convincing, this publication leaves just one query to be responded: what are we ready for?

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After June 2010, Belgium broke all records by going without a government for a year and a half, but during the past few years in Spain, Italy and Greece too, a long and laborious process has been required to form a government after elections. Even in the Netherlands the situation is becoming more difficult. 19 The reasons for this are many and varied, and one reason certainly is that coalition agreements are becoming longer and more detailed. This is a remarkable evolution if one considers that times are more unpredictable than ever and flexible anticipation of acute needs is the order of the day.

Even in the Netherlands the situation is becoming more difficult. 19 The reasons for this are many and varied, and one reason certainly is that coalition agreements are becoming longer and more detailed. This is a remarkable evolution if one considers that times are more unpredictable than ever and flexible anticipation of acute needs is the order of the day. But it seems that so great is the distrust between coalition partners, and so great the fear of being punished by voters, that every small point of policy has to be firmly nailed down.

The leaders promote themselves as direct representatives of the people, as the voice of the underbelly, the embodiment of common sense. They claim that unlike their colleagues they are close to the man or woman in the street, that they say what they think and do what needs to be done, and that the populist politician is at one with the people. That all this is questionable in the extreme we know well enough, because there’s no such thing as one monolithic ‘people’ (every society has its diversity), nor is there anything that could be described as a ‘national gut feeling’, and common sense is the most ideological thing imaginable.

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Against Elections: The Case for Democracy by David Van Reybrouck


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