Today’s Royal Gazette article “Same-sex union support would cost OBA votes” illustrates how representative democracy doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t matter if you are for or against the issue, the majority opinion is likely to be discarded in favor of the incumbent protecting political power. It is the sad reality of our political system that these sorts of controversial issues continue to consume public attention when more pressing concerns fall to the wayside. The responsibility of deciding these issues should be placed directly in the hands of the people rather than being endlessly fumbled and avoided by incumbent politicians.
The incumbent can’t be faulted for their aversion to tackling controversial issues. We’ve seen it with both parties as it is the nature of politics on our little isle. Our political system takes a well meaning opposition and turns it into a raging territorial beast. We end up with a government more focused on protecting political power than serving the people it is supposed to represent. Is the the sad reality of politics today and one reason why many are so disillusioned.
Democracy as it exists today is flawed and in many ways obsolete. It was designed for a time when we wanted to advance ourselves beyond monarchist rule but were limited by distance and means of communication. In the modern age of a connected world it makes sense for us to evolve our form of governance to involve the people more. The burden of controversial issues should be lifted from politicians and placed directly in the hands of the people.
Our focus should be on righting our sinking ship. Yet instead we consume ourselves with controversial issues like gay marriage, conscription and marijuana. It needlessly distracts the people and our politicians for we never have an answer. The answer should be easy, put the decision to the people by way of a referendum. Politicians would be free to voice their opinion or abstain. Allow the decision to be binding and restricted from being voted upon for 5 years.
Without a referendum we are guaranteed to be plagued by these endless distractions that prevent our progress and ensure our demise. Our politicians don’t have the testicular fortitude to deal with these issues directly so we need to relieve them of the need to do so. It is time for our democracy to evolve. The responsibility of these decisions should be placed directly in the hands of the people so we know exactly who is accountable for the ultimate result.