Progressives have long been big adherents of Direct Democracy, where the people vote for lots and lots of things directly to determine the outcome. Think of ballot initiatives. This is different from representative democracy, where people vote lawmakers, who then go and vote the way their
big moneyed donors constituents determine. But, NY Times writers Amanda Taub and Max Fisher have a problem with people actually voting for things
The voters of the world have had quite a year: They rejected Colombia’s peace deal; split Britain from the European Union; endorsed a Thai Constitution that curtails democracy; and, in Hungary, backed the government’s plan to restrict refugees, but without the necessary turnout for a valid result.
Each of these moves was determined by a national referendum. Though voters upended their governments’ plans, eroded their own rights and ignited political crises, they all accomplished one thing: they demonstrated why many political scientists consider referendums messy and dangerous.
When asked whether referendums were a good idea, Michael Marsh, a political scientist at Trinity College Dublin, said, “The simple answer is almost never.”
“I’ve watched many of these in Ireland, and they really range from the pointless to the dangerous,” he added.
You can see where this is going, no need for more excerpts. I wonder, though, have they explained this to the People’s Republik Of Brokeifornia, which has 17 ballot initiatives on deck for November? Probably not, because the article thinks that citizens are just too stupid to know which way to vote.
How does that accord, though, with voting for representative democracy?
Of course, the big problem here is votes that do not come out the way Progressives want. Then we’re told that direct democracy is a Bad Idea (or they sue to overturn the results of the will of the people).
And, no, the results are not always optimal. Sometimes they are downright stupid. People may vote against their own best interests. Democracy is messy. Would they prefer dictatorships of some fashion (well, yes, they kinda would, but, that is a different story.) How is representative democracy any less messy? People so often do not know what they are voting for, who they are voting for, what they stand for, what they have done, what they plan on doing, their legislative record, or who influences them.
Oh, and let’s definitely take note that one of the things the Times is bitching about is the vote in Columbia. About that
(NY Sun) Congratulations are in order for the people of Colombia, who, in a democratic referendum, have rejected the peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces known as FARC. The vote is a rejection of a compromise with a nihilistic Marxist movement whose entry into peace talks was one of the most cynical maneuvers in the history of the Americas. Yet the resulting compact was hailed by nearly every liberal paper and politician in the world (including Hillary Clinton), only to be brought up short by a people who turned out to be smarter than the elites who rule them.
Read the whole thing. Maybe voters are smarter than the Times gives them credit for being.