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Reader feedback: True democracy?

Re: No handshaking between ruling partners, Volume 11, Number 11, March 21-March 27, 2005

This is one of the ironies of "proportional representation" systems of democratic governance. For parties to work together, they must be somewhat alike in political thinking. Yet they need to differentiate themselves from their allies to win votes, even to the point of denouncing them.

How can such a system be truly democratic when these games must be played?

What you are observing is just a natural tendency of the workings of any political party. If you or I were "on the inside," we would not be behaving much differently - if our goal were to be successful in the next election.

Political parties are not free thinking organizations. They are governed more by instincts to accumulate and defend power.

If we insist on being governed by political parties, this instinct will prevail regardless of which citizens decide to become political.

We can be cynical. But when we analyze the accomplishments of western democracy it's quite interesting to see a reasonable sense of order, which is coming from, more or less, a very dysfunctional system.

Just think what we could accomplish if our "politics" actually rids itself of its dysfunctional nature.

Dave Volek,
Brooks, USA

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