Monday, 10 September 2012

Democracy and Trust

We have known for some time there is a deep flaw in our politics in Jersey. Turnouts on our main election day get to 40 odd percent of those registered, but many do not register. Including the non registered the 'abstention' rate is over 70%. Across Europe turnout rates have been in decline for some time. In this talk Bulgarian political theorist Ivan Krastev asks pertinent questions and offers some acute observations, though he avoids prescribing answers.

 I rather think a number of his key points are relevant to Jersey. While democracy is the only game in town, it is now one that increasingly people see as not worth playing. The abstention rate is highest among those who have most to gain by voting. It is an issue of trust: 89% of Europeans believe there is a growing gap between the opinions of politicians and those of the people. They have realised they can change governments, but cannot change policies! Until the 1970's increasing democracy was accompanied by increased equality: that has now reversed. We no longer have debate of policy and ideas - political campaigning is focused on manipulation of emotions. Politics is now about the management of mistrust. There's much more - see the video piece:

No comments:

Post a Comment