The bread and butter of indirect democracy

Should you have to do food shopping, as a citizen does politics in an indirect democracy today, it would look like this: 

You go to the food store, as you need bread, butter and milk. 

In the store you discover that you cannot buy items separately; you have to buy packages of food items. There is no package of bread and butter and milk. There is only a package of bread, butter and vodka. Or another package of rice, oil and milk. You are allowed to buy only one package. 

Since you really do not like vodka, you buy the second package. It will be delivered to your home address. At the counter you discover that you will be stuck with your chosen second package (rice, oil and milk) for the next four years during which you will have no bread and butter on your kitchen table. 

After you leave the store, the shopkeeper comes to you, saying that those who put together the two packages now agreed that they make one new package for all shoppers of the store. It will contain rice, oil and vodka. You will get this package at your home for the next four years.

In the end, you have no bread, no butter, and no milk. And you have spent your currency for the next four years, having to eat and drink all the things you do not need, or simply dislike. After one year into the four years period, the shopkeeper tells you that no more rice is available, and that is somebody else’s fault. Three years later, you won’t even bother to go to the food store and let them deliver to you for the next four years whatever they want to. 

This is the politics of indirect democracy today. You, the shopper, are the citizen. The food store is the polling station for elections. Those who put together the packages are the political parties of the left, the right and the ‘extremes’; those who change afterwards the content of the packages are the government coalition partners; the shopkeeper is your newly elected prime minister or president. The packages are party programmes, promised policies and party ‘manifestos’. 

Bingo. A new supermarket is opening today, next door to your home. In this supermarket, there are no package deals, you can buy any single item, as you like. And you have the currency to do it every day, not once every four years. You can have your bread, butter and milk every day, but you might also opt, in your Saturday night fever, for malenkaja vodka. Your next-door, 24/7, shiny new supermarket is called POP, the Public Opinion Platform. 

Enter.


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