First of all I'm not sure what the point of your peice is there on representative democracy. You are saying that our Government are no longer representative of the people based on 1 issue (Lisbon) and that this is where representative democracy fails. Yet we had direct democracy on that issue therefore representative democracy isn't in question on it. The very fact that the system of representative democracy that we employ here gives us the option for direct democracy over certain issues surely works in its favour!?
Secondly it has come to light since that ignorance played a very large role in the Lisbon result so can you really be sure of that 25% in that case?
Finally, while corruption does indeed exist in our existing political parties that is no reason to ignore what Libertas are up to. Saying "who cares that Libertas is crooked, sure aren't they all" is hardly a constructive way of looking at things. Libertas are being tackled because it would seem that they are a far worse alternative to our already poor set of options. And just because people here are critical of Libertas does not mean they are not critical of anyone else. You just have to look at non-Libertas threads to see that.
Actually, representative democracy is not designed to limit the power of the demos, but because the demos doesn't wish to make the thousands of detailed and technical decisions that are made in government. Different democracies, at different times, have drawn the boundaries between the 'detailed and technical' elements of government and the decisions which rightly rest with the people - but such a line always exists.
It is also recognised, by every democratic system, that it is not the job of those elected simply to reflect every passing whim of the people, but to work for their best interests. That is why we complain when we feel that the government lacks the courage to implement necessary but unpopular measures - because we regard that as their duty. Clearly, if it is part of the government's duty to do necessary but unpopular things, it cannot also be their duty to reflect popular opinion at all times.
scapegoated for what? these people spend millions on a political campaign and didn't have to show where a cent of it came from
to use your own language "do you think its 'democratic' for a single entity backed by a rich guy with shady military connections to be buying the opinion of the Irish people?"
at least we know where SF stand and their lack of support of anything to do with EU is not exactly new news, SF interests have always being about the people of northern Ireland, whose interest does Libertas represent?
With all respect, I think you just paraphased me.
Er, no, I don't think so.
Now, if you think the latter statement is a paraphrase of the former, you are, I think, misunderstanding at least one or the other of them.
Democratic for a:
1. single entity
2. backed by a rich guy
3. with shady military connection
4. to be buying the opinion of the Irish people (with millions... and didn't have to show where a cent of it came from)
1. Well, it seems to be the only major (theoretical) opposition party in the EU (UKIP don't count as they want to pull out altogether... maybe there are solialisrt blocs I don't know of). By definition it can not be any more dangerous in this capacity than any existing party within the European Parliament (even if you believe their motives are suspect).
2. Yawn... next
3. An interesting one, but beaten to death by both the opponents and proponents of Libertas. If you take Ganley's word for it, it seems fine. If you take some of the more ardent opinions of Libertas' deteractors it seems as if Libertas is a vehicle for the CIA. Either way, they are not an honest broker in terms of the EU, but is any party?
4. Again, pretty much like any political party (albeit not funded by the tax-payer, at least not directly). The disclosure of funds is a definite issue... but it does not seem to be illegal (or immoral) to get private donations. Affiliation to a private corporation might be though...
No, what you expressed was your preference for the system. Thus, a difference of opinion, not a difference in terms of content.
Which still wouldn't make it a paraphrase...however, what I'd like you to do is to explain how governments can do necessary but unpopular things while at all times reflecting public opinion.
It depends on what you mean by 'unpopular'. It is unpopular that people pay taxes, for instance, but this a loose use of the term. There are practical problems when you get into minute of administration - hence the odd solution proposed by anarchistic type groups who believe in doing away with government altogether and leave people to their own devices (ultimately the Hobbesian 'state of nature').
But what you are seeking is not a solution to the current form of representative democracy, which you espouse. For that you would need an altogether more comprehensive reply than I have time to give, and besides which would make a mockery of the thread title.
BTW I agree with you concerning the awkward (and essentially broken) current set-up of EU administration, I merely think that Lisbon will probably compound some of the more inherent problems.
It would be handy if you could write out the posts you're responding to, because you don't appear to be responding to mine!
That was a reply to the cordial, amused, and highly amused Scofflaw. It was you, after all you asked me about 'unpopular but necessary' legislation - but I hardly need remind of that, do I?
You hardly need to remind me of it, certainly. I couldn't work out, though, whether you had actually attempted to square the circle of a government that is required to both faithfully reflect public opinion at all times, while simultaneously taking any necessary but unpopular decisions that arise.
You can feel free to attempt that squaring on the thread, since the claim that the government ought - obviously - to be reflecting the "will of the people" by mirroring public opinion seems to form a large part of Libertas' claim to legitimacy.
It all comes down to whether you want a government of leaders, or a government of followers. Leaders are revered in history and followers are forgotten. I think that says a lot about which is more effective.
Apologies for Off Topic..
I would have thought that parties should espouse policies, and the people should vote for those parties who's policies they support.
This means that the government (as an entity) always reflects public opinion, even (especially?) if the party which forms it changes.
A party is free to change it's policies if it smells the turning of public opinion of course.
We don't elect a bunch of randomers and then go to them and tell them what to do, a bunch of parties come before us with stated intentions and we approve or reject those intentions at the voting booth.
To me, that's the essence of representative democracy.