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Why Democracies Don't Work

A Paper

By Kamino

08 OCTOBER 2009


I am probably one of the very few people on bob that have any actual experience in a direct democracy, so I can adequately say I am some what of an expert on the subject, as opposed to those who only theorize about it. I have been in a Direct Democracy for four months or so and have been very actively involved in its molding.
When I at first entered Planet Bob I had many misunderstandings of the way of things. I thought that a nation was a nation, and an alliance was an alliance. But I had discovered that in fact a nation was more of a state (by American understanding) and that an alliance was a nation or a republic of sorts (much like the U.S.A. or the U.K). So when I first entered into the world I was an isolationist nation, not wanting to join into any alliance for fear of war and foreign influence into Akira's society. But as we all know the out come of that type of ideal, I was attacked by raiders on a regular basis. Oh sure, the First war I fought I had won, even caused my enemy to re roll. I had fought for my peace and was proud of my accomplishment further cementing in my mind that isolationism could work. But it was not to last. I was raided over and over by other nations. Eventually I was overcome by the hostilities.
When I re rolled I decided to join an alliance to ensure my security, a hard learned lesson. I joined the United Blue Directorate (UBD) and was quickly upset by learning that in an alliance I was not to be allowed to be involved in any political decision making. That I was no more than a commoner. I had joined Planet Bob to run things the way I saw fit, to be a leader, a politician. So when I was denied this, I left the UBD in seek of something more to my liking. I eventually found a new and small alliance called the Democratic Open Community (DOC). It was a system where every member was a member of the legislative process, every member was a Senator if you will. We could create, debate, negotiate and pass legislation with out the the approval of an Emperor. I had found my home, or so I thought.
After roughly two months or so things changed. I have learned that there are several reasons a Direct Democracy can not survive on Planet Bob, and there not the common reasons that people say i.e. it's to slow etc, etc... The DOC was, or should I say is, dying. There are several reasons for this, and I will try to cover each as best as possible.
The first was no accountability, or better yet no sense of responsibility or obligation. In a direct democracy members would eventually grow tired of long debates about legislation, treaties and our constitution. It would sometimes take weeks for someone to respond to a new piece of legislation. Members would start to gain the attitude of "some one else will do it". Because they were not elected to that position and were not bestowed with a title and privilege, they had no obligation to do anything. The duties of the legislative process could be passed on to someone else. Unfortunately, when to many people think this way the system falls. It was set up to where those who wanted to be active could be and those who did not, would not have to. Sadly in the end the only person I was debating with, was myself, that type of democracy does not get very far. So while the actual legislative process may have indeed been slow like others theorized, there was no danger to the DOC because of this from aggressors, because it did find a way to supersede this problem with an emergency powers clause, that could be granted to the Prime Minister in desperate times.
The Second problem was that the spirit of a democratic society can not last. Individual interests would cause such a deformity in the society by creating to many programs and laws that individuals would support out of apathy or clever sales pitches. Over the course of a democratic societies life, more and more legislation, programs and allies would grow to such an exponential level without a real clear cut goal or ideal of what the alliance was to become, there was in fact, a lack of direction. Alliances do not grow by piling more and more programs that they can not support, they grow slowly with a carefully thought out plan and vision of what the alliance is to one day become. Gradually and carefully creating new legislation, programs and allies that support the architecture of the plan to be put into play, and growing with the alliance as its ACTIVE members grow.
The next problem was corruption. A fully democratic society is at risk of corruption from every direction. I myself, while with the best of intentions, was single handily able to alienate a member who was of high caliber and bringing myself to unimaginable popularity. I was gaining political power by popularist support at unimaginable speeds, I was very well on my way to becoming Emperor. I had been able to create multiple changes in government with almost no question and ultimately damaging the system by having to many people in to many positions that could not be filled.
Next was the constant change of government. Every one was so concerned about what was fair in terms of term lengths and every one wanted a shot at the big seat that the current government would not be in office long enough to provide any real direction. So once again we come to the problem of a constant change of direction and no real end goal in place by any power long enough to satisfactorily implement it.
Lastly, was that it would be very difficult to change once it had set down a certain course. Members would become so attached or dependent upon the system that removing programs would be greatly feared. Members could think of more reasons to keep a cancer in there society rather than removing it. Also on that note, once you have a problem, who is held accountable for the failure? In a dictatorship, the emperor is held accountable and can be removed from power to fix the problem and install a new emperor to provide new direction, but in a democracy, who do you remove? Every one is a part of the problem. The only way to fix it is to remove those who were responsible, namely everyone, which would in turn bring about revolution (changing the type of government structure) or dissolution.
As we can all see, other forms of government do not have these problems. They are lasting (provided the leadership is not ignorant), secure and destined to greatness. Other governments weather they be dictatorships, Councils or representative democracies, have a far better chance at survival.
Overall democracies are not at risk because they are to slow like popularly thought, but rather they are at risk of failure because they have no real obligation, lack of direction, special interests and difficulty changing.
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