So, What is Democracy Anyway? | Peter Emerson | TEDxVienna
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So, What is Democracy Anyway? | Peter Emerson | TEDxVienna

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In many instances, a majority vote identifies not the will of the people, not even the will of the majority of them, but the will of those who wrote the question. .

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33 thoughts on “So, What is Democracy Anyway? | Peter Emerson | TEDxVienna

  1. Good question and nice discussion, but due to the average humans' selfish, short-sighted, chaotic nature, any system designed by human will not last, not even a dynamic, flow with the change system will last. Eventually there will be one man that owns it all and the rest billions of humans have to pay rent for air and sunshine, under the law that "we" all agreed on and voted for.

  2. Very truth
    In America, we have the Republican Party and the Democrats party.
    If we elected a Democrat as president, the Republicans supporters hate the New Democrat President
    If we elected a Republican as President, the Democrats supporters hate the new Republican President
    Now,, the newly elected President will come out with laws/policies to fit the newly elected President party
    Look at us now in DC 1/6/2021

  3. Would have been much better had the speaker not introduced his own political biases into the discussion. Doing so will turn off many listeners and it was not necessary.

  4. "representative democracy" can never be and never was actual democracy. how could it? its a hand full of people making the actual decisions, and by that, being extremely prone to corruption and bribary of the individual so called "representative". By its nature "representative democracy" is not democratic. Its a scam.

  5. Very good, but I am not sure you're Russian is quite right; большая (and hence bolshevik) is as much greater or larger or major, as it is majority, so in the case of 49%, 44% and 8%, bolshevik and menshevik (from меньшая, lesser) are justified.

  6. Fascism, pure and simple. A dangerous philosophy, whenever, wherever it happeds on this earth. It is here in the good old USA and many other countries. Now one studies history anymore? I guess we are still primates, not even Neanderthals, they had bigger brains then us.

  7. Just look at the Swiss Democracy, there is no other that's so good! Research and learn about the Democracy that I adore so much, we the Swiss Democracy are not just contained out of Left or Right, Democrat – Repuplican and so on, we have parties and diversity which is in my opinion a very strong component of an wotking democracy. People, I know that our Democracy in Switzerland will not work in every other country because of diffrent culture and history, but I just want to say: dont lose the hope in Democracy, dont forget what our whole last generations wanted for us – freedom, therefor have the motivation to influence yourself of working democracies in the world and discuss – learn with other people, the Swiss is one of a kind to learn from. And yes indeed every working democracy is hard to understand and not easy to comprehend in the first try, especially when you didn't lived with it, but this is just any comprisemise that we have to do for understanding the potential of a modern – working democracy, which does not only stand on majority yes/no or democrats/republicans, but also the intrest of a society in the first place, also known as the freedom of a democratic society to not only decide, but also to creat.

  8. No one said democracy was perfect – that certainly is not the case. It just happens to be the best system we have. That's why people try to migrate from non-democratic nations to democratic ones. Highly suspicious of anyone who does not believe in democracy, they are always free to migrate the other way.

  9. Democracy doesn't have to be about simple majority voting – there are number of other electoral systems that produce more nuanced answers that get closer to what the populace really wants. The question is whether it is good to do what even an informed populace wants, or whether the decision taken should be simply the right one. But I do see the beauty in the former.

  10. Two important parts that seemed to be left out of this talk.
    The manipulation of the voters. If the voters were given the truth by politicians and the media they could make better decisions.
    The protection of the rights of the individual. If the voters were taught to respect the rights of the individual, there should be less desire to steal from others.

    Like the examples shown here, a Republican primary election in the USA had so many conservatives competing that the majority of the conservative vote was distributed across these candidates. This meant a non-conservative candidate won.

  11. A love a lot of the spirit of this talk. We can do better than majoritarianism.

    But, there are a lot of different voting methods. Some still have notions of majoritarianism embedded within them but still work for elections with many options, most notably Condorcet methods. Unfortunately, the method discussed here, where you rank options and the ranks equate the points, also known as The Borda Count, has a couple major issues:

    1. Clones. A sort of reverse-spoiler effect where fielding a lot of similar candidates ("clones") gives that "party" an unfair advantage.

    2. Strategic voting. No method is completely immune to strategic voting, but Borda is particularly vulnerable, to the point that it can become an "anti-method" that elects candidates everyone agrees is terrible.

    A better method that preserves the ideas behind this talk is Score Voting. Every voter gives every candidate a score from within some pre-defined range. The winner is the candidate with the highest total/average. This is the basic version, but it has a lot of variants, some of which try to address some of its perceived weaknesses (though I would argue many of its criticisms are dubious). Other variants adapt it to be multi-winner or even proportional.

  12. Despite everything, despite its imperfection. I like democracy, why? Because it lets me express my voice, gives me the right to be who I am. Democracy should be representative, not oppressive. Majority isn't right, minority isn't wrong. We must practice democracy in totally tolerant and respectful actions because in the end, all the opinions matter, all the ideas are worthy.

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