To blame in democracy
1328 cr points
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39 / M / Closing in
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Posted 6/2/08
Who is to blame when a democratic society don't work as it is supposed to? Inefficiency (that is the regulations and laws and aims aren't being upheld like they are supposed to) and lack of true freedom.

1. Bureaucracy
Arguments: the bureaucrats have their own agenda, are being rigid, do not put democracy and "efficiency" (that is goals in society) into practice, et cetera.
Counter: the bureaucrats are just doing what they are told to. The politicians are to blame for unclarity, lack of resources, and generally do not know what effects their decisions have

2. Politicians
Arguments: the politicians do not truly care, have their own agenda, ignore and manipulate the people, work for their own goals rather than the people's, or compromises and rigidity diminishes the politics
Counter: the public still elect and re-elects politicians, even if the results are obvious. The public is too uninformed, do not possess the expertise and still make undue pressure through misunderstandings, blocking their real agenda with their own misconception of how it should work.

3. The public
Arguments: elect and re-elects politicians, even if the results are obvious. The public is too uninformed, do not possess the expertise and still make undue pressure through misunderstandings, blocking their real agenda with their own misconception of how it should work.
Counter: only applies to some people. The "no other system would work"- argument.

4. Oligarcic pressure
Explantions: sorry, couldn't think of a fitting expression. This is when decisions are being made through only a few people.
Arguments/examples: Media manipulates us through desinformation, angling and choosing what information to pass on ( and to surpress). Powerful lobbyist owns politicians and have the resources for pr-stunts as well as projects that makes a decision easier or harder (like for instance shares to be sold if a government makes THAT decision). Organizations put undue pressure to make changes, or support only certain politics/politicians. Cliques and conspiracies work against the society's will.
Counter: highly exaggerated. In the end, the public choice is ultimate. All can be controlled. There is no sustaining will to really make things happen agains society's will.

(sorry, if this is duplicate. Can not remember it as such)
These are some arguments and examples. You may consider 1a as true, but not 1b, the point is to examplify. Who's to blame, or is all arguments distortions or untrue? Stuff like finances are not included. The point is the level of democracy (people's will) and efficiency (the level of power of the policies in laws regulations, state mechanisms et cetera).

1433 cr points
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29 / M / New York
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Posted 6/2/08 , edited 6/6/08
All of the above, though I'd like to add that many people, at least in the constitutional republic of the United States, have a double standard regarding the way things should work. On one hand, they want the majority to be satisfied; on the other, they want the "absolute laws" of the Constitution to be upheld. Sometimes these conflict, and we are not very consistent in our acceptance/rejection of each system.

Anyway, different kinds of responsibility fall on each group of people you listed. Of course the public is to blame to some extent for not expressing its discontent sufficiently (assuming the public is generally discontent), but we can't expect every individual to have perfect knowledge of the issues facing the country. Even those who have the time to study and make informed decisions are inevitably misled by the biased/false presentations of the issues by the media, whether it be the news on TV, the internet, magazines, newspapers... anything, really. Control of information is power.

There's our "two-party" system itself, of course, with its illusion of choice. We are not exposed to much else for various reasons, two of the greatest being the money any given "party" or individual has to make himself known and the fact that more choices means more division. Then we get to the ones who are elected, and we again have that double standard. Are these politicians elected to do what the people want, or are they elected because of their qualities and beliefs so that they can make good decisions? If they should simply listen to whatever the people say, then we certainly don't need Yale graduates in office, as many people could do it; if they should make decisions based on their own way of thought (for which they were, presumably, elected), then we no longer have a government that is necessarily responsible to the people.

Now, despite all of the above being true, our system need not be inefficient/flawed. Our limited choices and the media's control of information could actually work. Thus we come back to the double standard I mentioned. You might notice I skipped the bureaucracy, but I think its inefficiency is partly due to this, along with the necessary difficulty of developing and establishing laws that can be accepted by a majority.

Then again, none of this matters if one feels the system grants sufficient freedom and efficiency.
16324 cr points
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27 / M / Bangalore,India
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Posted 6/2/08
the people.the politicians.other nations.
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