Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Is democracy only a democracy when your party wins?

The Brazilian opposition leader won the first round of the 2022 general election (ie, 48% vs 43%). However, news articles and comments are suggesting that he – and even democracy – have lost. Why? Because actual results differed from expectations. Voter polling statistics had claimed a landslide victory.

The Brazilian elections are an example of two of my topics: (1) Lies, damned lies, and statistics (ie, my recent blog), as well as (2) the intolerance by the people who claim to be tolerant (eg, my recent blog). Hence, my question: Is democracy only a democracy when your party wins? Cynics would agree.

Russia is not a democracy, despite its claims. Should fleeing Russians (eg, draft dodgers, billionaires) be treated as refugees or as opportunists? It’s highly unlikely that the 400,000 draft dodgers are all anti-Putin. The need or want to save our life has little bearing on our political beliefs.

The Netherlands is a multi-party (17+) democracy. Anyone can vote for a party that matches her/his identity. The government, however, will (probably) always be a center coalition because fringe parties usually prefer being in the opposition (ie, no need to compromise). Is that democratic?

American Democrats have been supporting pro-Trump opponents in the 2022 midterm elections (eg, El Pais, Guardian, WaPo, US News). In their Democratic strategic calculations, it’s easier to defeat a pro-Trump Republican than a moderate Republican. Is that democratic?

Ancient Greek democracy was not a one-man, one-vote system. The majority of the population was excluded (eg, non-residents, women, slaves). Wiki: “Only adult male Athenian citizens who had completed their military training as ephebes had the right to vote in Athens.”

Our version of democracy has resulted in zero-sum thinking: one person’s gain is another person’s loss. That may be true on an individual level (ie, micro) but it’s certainly not true for society as a whole (ie, macro). In my view, zero-sum thinking is a belief and not the truth.

Nunca Mais (2008) by Zuco 103
band, lyrics, translation, video, Wiki-band (EN), Wiki-band (NL)

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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