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democracy and optimum decision-making

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McKenzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:47 PM
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democracy and optimum decision-making
I believe passionately in the fundamental tenets of liberal society and allowing ordinary people full participation in the political process. However, there are sometimes difficulties when complex issues enter the political arena. The ongoing debate over the euro in the UK got me thinking about this dilemma.

There is to be a referendum on whether Britain joins but I have deep unease over the likely outcome. The issues are immensely complex and difficult to grasp. Staying out seems to be against our economic interests. Ask many people about their views though and they'll come out with arguments for staying out based upon political chauvanism and/or sentiment.

Some people would acuse me of political elitism for suggesting that the decision on the euro is too important to be left to what is effectively a lottery. They'd say the people should decide. Fair comment. But can adherence to democratic principles on every single issue ensure that the optimum decisions are taken? Here's a starter for ten...if the greater numbers argument equates with quality of decision-making why is the Sun the biggest selling newspaper (sic) in the UK?

I've got a big tub of intumescent paint handy for the heat that this might generate!
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