“Democracy is the worst system of government, except for all the others.”
Unknown (possibly Winston Churchill)
So you’re a socially aware citizen living in the wine country of California. You watch CNN, follow political debates, construct informed opinions on complex matters such as healthcare and government spending, and discuss those positions with your equally erudite friends.
Then the ugliness of election day rolls around. You wait in line to cast a ballot for the candidate of your choice. Voting is important to the survival of democracy, and you encourage friends to join in. California breaks uniformly blue, so your vote is entirely ceremonial and has no bearing on the election outcome whatsoever.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, a poor farmhand with grubby fingernails living in Pennsylvania, who failed to graduate high school, doesn’t own a television, trawls conspiracy websites, and sleeps beneath a confederate flag casts his vote in the opposite direction. Due to the inherent deficiencies in democracy, the vote of this low IQ individual actually counts, while yours does not. His uninformed opinion could determine the next leader of the free world.
And, as you sit and enjoy a chilled glass of chardonnay and a glorious golden sunset, you ponder the ridiculous nature of democracy, and how the wrong candidate could deliver four more years of hell.
How do we eradicate these ill-informed voters from the system? Can we include some form of political competence exam at the top of the ballot, so those voters without the requisite understanding of the system can have their selections nullified? Can the votes of the educated class count for double? Should we redraw the political map, rip up the electoral college system, and give preference to states with higher levels of tertiary education and social awareness?
Or, can a board of eminently qualified experts be assembled to select our leaders allowing us to eliminate the whole voting part of democracy altogether? The expert panel could vet candidates across a range of competencies and ensure only the stable and sufficiently qualified progress?
Or perhaps the board of eminently qualified professionals, professors and academics could just run the government. They could remain largely faceless to dispel the whole popularity contest element of modern politics, and selected spokespersons could communicate with the public. Perhaps partisan politics has been holding humanity back, all that energy wasted on unnecessary squabbling. Maybe the time has come to cast off the shackles of democracy and enter a new phase of human enlightenment.
The time has come to reimagine our system of government. This fourth glass of chardonnay has delivered a moment of history-changing clarity. No more Donald Trumps debasing our political structures with their childish populist pandering. No more medically unfit candidates confusing millions with billions and wandering off on meaningless tales about rusty razor blades and public swimming pool bullies. No more scandals, just boring experts, relying on high powered computers, AI even, making the most ruthlessly efficient decisions.
No more debate. No more houses of parliament with their feet dragging filibusters, just ruthlessly efficient government, focussed on the job of ruling. AI doesn’t suffer brain fog. It’s not distracted by golf scores or buxom interns. It’s not compromised by honeypot blackmailers or bribes from shadowy foreign entities.
Pass the bottle, James.
Yes, AI running everything. No more elections, no more politicians, they can all go and sell used cars and spruik hedge funds. Close your eyes folks and picture the future, just an impenetrable black box of logic and reason, crunching numbers and running scenarios twenty-four hours a day, humming away on renewable energy, running our country.
Politics as we know it is dead. No more Pennsylvanian proles will determine who holds the reins of power.
Humanity, you’re welcome.
G G Novack – Political Prognosticator