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The Forum > Article Comments > Rule by minorities is not 'democracy' > Comments

Rule by minorities is not 'democracy' : Comments

By Humph Applebee, published 13/9/2013

To represent us properly we do need to ensure we elect people with more than one idea, however worthy that idea may be.

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Dear Humph and dear Applebee, you might seek the advice of Sir Arnold Robinson regarding Athenian democracy...

"It is how we ensure the ideal of Athenian democracy for which a working definition might be: "Rule by (some of ) the majority with respect for (some of the) minorities". "

A more accurate definition of which is really: "Rule by (some of) the majority of the preselected minority on behalf of everyone else."

The everyone else in Athens being slave workers, women, young men, the uneducated, non-property owners and the poor.

Come to think about it, this sounds spookily like what we still have now. (Plus ša change, etc.)
Posted by WmTrevor, Friday, 13 September 2013 8:12:52 AM
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Why does everyone have to make very simple things so difficult.

Fixing the problem of excess candidates for senate is just so simple.

You make the first distribution of preferences from every candidate who had less than 1% of the vote. Even in Tasmania that means 5000 votes. Anyone who achieves that level should be worthy of continuing, those with less should all be eliminated.
Posted by Hasbeen, Friday, 13 September 2013 10:54:37 AM
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Good thinking, Hasbeen.

>>Anyone who achieves that level should be worthy of continuing, those with less should all be eliminated.<<

A touch drastic, but highly effective.

If we could also eliminate those mindless folk who voted for them, you'd solve the problem entirely.
Posted by Pericles, Saturday, 14 September 2013 7:26:13 AM
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"To represent us properly we do need to ensure we elect people with more than one idea, however worthy that idea may be."

Agreed, Australians regularly elect Coalition politicians whose one idea is "private good, public bad". How do we know that the Senators in question don't have "more than one idea"?

If the election had resulted in a pro-Coalition majority I'm sure the "dysfunctions" of the Senate electoral system wouldn't have exercised the minds of the right wing commentariat for a second.
Posted by mac, Sunday, 15 September 2013 10:12:31 AM
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those with less should all be eliminated.
Pericles,
We could restart education in Australia & achieve that elimination. We'd only need a handful of real teachers to do it.
Posted by individual, Sunday, 15 September 2013 11:23:25 AM
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Wm Trevor..your view of Athenian Democracy is pretty right and it was much fairer (not any more equal) than today's Democracy. The elite still rule in representation of the minority. I think no matter how stupid or irrelevant some party's sound, they still have the right to represent the people who voted for them. Maybe the rules for representation need to be changed without excluding everyone. The major parts have too much power and this needs to be distributed more fairly .. but how is the problem. Certainly do not exclude all minor partys as they are (as Don Chip once said) there to keep the bastards honest. Democracy lends itself to Dictatorship, don't take away our freedoms.
Posted by mally, Monday, 16 September 2013 10:06:53 AM
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