Against Elections: The Case for Democracy - download pdf or read online

By David Van Reybrouck

ISBN-10: 1847924220

ISBN-13: 9781847924223

Democracy is in undesirable healthiness. the indicators are well-known: the increase of fear-mongering populists, frequent mistrust within the institution, character contests, and point-scoring rather than reasoned debate, slogans rather than expertise. opposed to Elections offers a brand new prognosis —and an historic therapy. David Van Reybrouck reminds us that the unique goal of elections was once to exclude the folk from energy by way of appointing an elite to control over them. He demonstrates how over the years their impression has been to minimize the people's participation in executive to an absolute minimal, determine strength is still within the arms of these who already wield it, and strength politicians to pass judgement on regulations now not on their benefits yet on their chance to win or lose votes. and that is whilst elections move good. but for many of democracy's 3000-year heritage governments weren't selected by means of election in any respect: they have been appointed, very like the jury approach, via a mixture of volunteering and lottery. Drawing on tremendous studying, a world array of proof, and an increasing number of winning trials, Against Elections demonstrates how a worldly and useful model of this old approach might paintings this day and hence get rid of the underlying reason for democracy's affliction. pressing, heretical, and entirely convincing, this ebook leaves just one query to be responded: what are we ready for?

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It didn’t lead a strike (a real one, that is) or a sit-in, or a blockade of a recruitment centre, or a takeover of the dean’s office. The IWW free-speech fights of a century ago look positively Prussian by comparison. With Occupy, the horizontal culture was everything. 41 Dutch sociologist Willem Schinkel adds: ‘Occupy is in a sense the simulation of ideological resistance. ’42 Occupy demonstrates the malaise more than it suggests any remedy. Its diagnosis of representative democracy was correct, but the alternative was weak.

Because these are not democratically elected, they represent a far-reaching technocratisation of decision-making: bankers, economists and monetary analysts have got their hands on the levers of power. This is not just about foreign organisations. Every modern nation state has given itself a technocratic slant by removing competences from the democratic arena and depositing them elsewhere. The power of central banks and constitutional courts, for example, has grown markedly. It seems governments have thought it sensible to take crucial tasks such as monetary supervision and constitutional reform out of the clutches of party politics and the electoral calculus that goes with it.

13 The figure for Antwerp is particularly astonishing, considering that the battle for the mayoral sash dominated the national media for months. 15 Democracy has a serious problem of legitimacy if citizens no longer wish to take part in its most important procedure by going to the polling station. Is it still possible to claim that Parliament represents the people? Shouldn’t a quarter of seats be left empty for four years? Second, alongside low voter turnout we are seeing high voter turnover. Those qualified to vote in Europe not only vote less, they are more capricious.

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Against Elections: The Case for Democracy by David Van Reybrouck


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