Secret Diary of an Entrepreneur: The limitations of democracy

Democracy has its place. But that place definitely isn't the world of business...

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I've been thinking a lot about democracy this week (I'm guessing I'm probably not the only one, given the wall-to-wall Election coverage). Although this isn't exactly the first chance I've had to vote, it's the first time I've felt like my vote might actually make a difference to the final outcome - and that has made me think a bit more about the whole process.

Now don't get me wrong. Democracy is, generally speaking, A Good Thing. I am unquestionably glad that I don't live under an oppressive dictatorship, and can vote for any idiot I like to run the country. I also appreciate the sacrifice of those who have fought for democracy, and so on and so forth. But observing democracy in action, particularly during the last week, I've concluded two main things.

One, it's a licence for nutters to talk rubbish. I know that to some extent this is the price you pay; that you've got to take the rough with the smooth etc etc etc. But elections really bring the zealots out of the closet, and it's even worse now that the internet provides them with the perfect platform to share their ill-considered views with the world. Looking at some of the stuff online this week, and the sheer viciousness of some of the 'debate', I can't help feeling that we'd be better off if some of these people were a bit more oppressed.


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