The strongest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter.
-Sir Winston Churchill
The quote above is one of the most common reasons given for why we cannot do a more direct democracy in this country. Apparently, the masses are too stupid to understand the subtleties of issues, which is why our specialist, managerialist political classes are given free reign to promise us X gratis and then deliver Y at a phenomenally generous cost Z.
But to me, it's pretty telling that people use this quote at all. Basically, it's saying, "I think other people are too stupid and can't be trusted with difficult decisions. I'm happy to let the political classes do the right thing, because they're so much smarter and more informed than the rest of us."
Well, that's bollocks, isn't it?
I'm sure there are some very bright people in politics, but most of them seem to be no smarter than the average table and most of those that appear adroit are actually simply possessed of a low, animal cunning.
And in all of them, the sociopathy and amorality necessary to play the games of party politics to get into power in the first place render any potential intelligence benefit moot.
So, given that there isn't any particular proof that politicians and civil servants are any smarter or better informed than us, why should we not be given the same level of influence over major decisions that politicians have? Or indeed ANY decision?
(Note that I still believe that democracy is a load of shit, but what we have now isn't even a democracy, it's an oligarchy that has the fig leaf of voting in front of it.)