Corruption, power and money are three words which are used the most to describe politicians lately. With dictatorial countries they have been widely known problems for centuries, but lately those words have been used a lot to describe western leaders also, like ex-American president Trump, or Mailis Reps from Estonia.
Before we can talk about what is wrong with democracy we first need to know what it actually is. It has its roots in the ancient Greek city of Polis, from where we also have quite a few well known philosophers and public talkers, the most well-known being Plato, who is also the basis of modern political theory. The word democracy itself comes from the Greek words demos and kratos, meaning ‘people’ and ‘power’ respectively. Democracy is the right for all participants of the society to have a say in the matters of the said society.
A lot of new western politicians will realize the importance of money quite fast. A lot of western representative democracy is based on so-called “tweedism”, where a small group of people, about 0.02% of the population, nominates a candidate to the election. The most straightforward way of doing this was China’s proposal for a law, where a small number of people nominate one or more candidates for election. This gives a small minority the power to choose what political ideology will be in power. This process can also be sneakier. Political campaigning takes money, and that money comes from people. Campaigns are basically nominations for candidates, and most of the money for campaigns comes from, again, 0.02% of donors. A small percentage of the population chooses what options the larger public has. Can we call that democracy?
When a small group of people choose the one who’ll be in power, is that democracy? I would say no, as most of the population doesn’t have a say at who they want to run this world, they just get to choose between bad and worse options. Democracy isn’t dying. It is dead already, and we killed it.
By Richard Miikael from Estonia