Saturday, May 26, 2018

Centrists and Democracy

In polls, support for democracy has been declining in both the US and Europe. You might think the ones turning against democracy were extremists of the right or the left, but no:

I suppose this is because self-declared centrists include a lot of people who think the solutions are obvious and it's only partisan bickering that keeps us from enacting them. Which is why I prefer "moderate" as a label for myself; I don't think the solutions are obvious or always in the middle.

1 comment:

David said...

I found that whole article questionable, from the fact that the political alignments were self-declared to the lack of definition of "democracy" or what the alternative would be. It seemed to fit the "lies, bad lies, and statistics" stereotype quite well. For example, conservatives came out as strongly for "civil rights" but for a lot of American conservatives that may well mean the right of property owners to own guns and shoot trespassers and otherwise fully control the legal relations in their own communities without federal interference.

In general, I think framing our current debates in terms of "democracy" is as misguided as framing them in terms of positive or negative attitudes toward "change." I don't actually find that, in the US at least, the basic legitimacy of the democratic process, vaguely defined, is under question--despite, for example, the conviction of some that any result they don't like must be the result of fraud. It's more questions like who should be accepted as a full member of the demos, what kinds of things they should have the right to get with their votes, etc.