Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 6th, 2011

Who is responsible for a working democratic system?

It is rare that I read posts reflecting on democratic systems. I slightly edited this post before commenting.

“The question of responsibility in democratic system is absolutely core. It influences my behaviour on a daily basis and is a source of much frustration. I am going to examine the relationship between the public, the media, politicians and its effects on the quality of democracy.

The problem with democracy, friends, is that it belongs to us all. We are all of us responsible for keeping it healthy.

I very strongly believe that a politically active electoral is a vital part for the functioning of democracy. By politically active I don’t just mean an electorate who votes, though in this country higher turnouts would be a good start!

I define a politically active electorate who engages with the issues of the day.

People who critically assess the information that comes their way and forms good in-depth quality opinions.

People who look for truth and reason, people who engage with their local communities.

People who don’t just moan about bad things, but try to be part of a solution.

I believe that a politically active electorate, in their search for good quality information to fuel their well-formed opinions, must surely lead to a good quality media.

The demand for real news must be met and the overall quality of reporting improve. The process may be slow, but it would happen.

This is in contrast to the current situation whereby so many seek news as entertainment: news to be angry or outraged at, news to shake their head about, news to say “have you heard..” and have a gossip about. News about things which make them annoyed but about which they ask no questions and conduct no basic analysis of. Certainly not news which makes them get up and make a change.

It is my view that the demand for news as entertainment and the subsequent dumbing down of almost all media outlets directly contributes to the situation that so many people are upset about:

Lying, cheating, fiddling, untrustworthy politicians… are pretty common curses.

Is it really a surprise that when we demand so little from our press, in turn our press demands so little from our politicians?

Instead of focusing on the big issues, we get media orchestrated scandals.

Instead of in-depth debates of contributing factors we get a celebrity culture.

Instead of the real issues of the day we get diversions. And we lap it up.

A good quality media is a vital part of maintaining accountability of politicians. To get a good quality media we have to demand it. We have to gravitate to those channels and publications which provide good quality reporting and move away from those that do not.

Of course, a politically active electorate could lead to all kinds of other wonderful things: more community based solutions, more accountability on the election trail, a higher voter turnout, more debate with more sensible outcomes.

The view of an idealist perhaps, but I don’t think it is particularly crazy to suggest people start taking responsibility for assessing the information that they are fed with.  Look for truth”. End of quote

I like the idea of a correlation that the less we demand from our press for quality news on serious matters (instead of celebrity culture and scandals, news as entertainment, gossips…), the less the press will make demands on politicians.

If the citizens are happy and contended with their press then why the press is to take on their responsibilities of tackling serious issues without the support of the citizens to back them up with their concerns?

Media is dependent on the feedback of their audience that generate ads from companies, which usually support the power-to-be, and thus, it is the engagement of communities in rallying the people behind their common interests that can make a difference.

What is generally needed is a fair and equitable election laws that permit the entire population to participate in the political debate and allow citizens to dare be candidate  against all odds.

Note:  You may read my post https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/a-few-good-politicians/


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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