Fat Steve's Blatherings

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Say What?

    A quote from a story in the Guardian, on the growing political turmoil in France and Germany:

Twisting and turning for any kind of electoral advantage, Schröder last week said he was prepared to reverse Germany's 54-year-long ban on the referendum, the populist tool used by Hitler to establish the Nazi regime. Germany could then hold a referendum on the EU constitution. This is a key plank of the postwar constitution being knocked away. For the paradox of referendums is that they are fundamentally anti-democratic, confusing democracy with populism and placing power in the hands of those who can manipulate public opinion for their own ends. Germany's history is testimony to the consequences.

    Well, shut ma mouth.  I always thought that letting the people decide things was more or less the definition of democracy.  So does Dictionary.com, which says democracy is "1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives."

    But I stand corrected.  Allowing the people any direct voice in govt. puts power in the hands of a small group of manipulators, who can bend the voters to their will when voting on an issue.  Of course, when voting for a party, the people suddenly acquire an immunity that prevents anyone from manipulating them.  Or something.



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