The empty ballot box.
One day in the future there will be ballot box suspended in motion in a museum that will represent the last election in some country somewhere and it will hold the results of the election forever, never to be counted.
As we come towards the biggest soap opera in the world, the US election of 2020 we are reminded of the folly of political systems that marginalise nearly 50% of the eligible voting public. So, what’s the point? Well, nearly half the population that could vote, don’t. So are they the biggest “party for the non-voters” by default?
There is a sniff that voter turnout in the US election will be the highest in a hundred years so all may not be lost…
Think about it. You’ve hired 100 people and only 50 turn up. You are willing to raise the wealth and protect the other 50. You will give them healthcare and education but still, only 50 people turn up. Guess what?… your company is not working. The system is not working. Do they believe you? Do they care?
There is a proportion of the population who are not bought into your system. So, the upcoming US election in simple terms means 26% of the country vote in the President and winning party. Or is it the senate? Seriously, I’m getting bored just trying to work this out…
How did we get here? The west and democracy has always stood it’s voting systems as being free where “freedom of expression” takes centre stage. Well, if that’s the ticket we all buy into then it’s clear those who have not expressed their vote have actually won, so what next?
Seriously, it does and it hurts even more when the teeth sink in.
Democracy as we know it will die and it will be what we call in the technology world, done-done. It will be released into the wild and become the feral creature it has grown to be. Maybe it was always carrying the breath of a wolf that ran in the wild to find its next kill.
We are led to believe that elected officials are honest, untainted by general standards and most of all have made the sacrifice to commit to public service. But what is public service if you are not connected to most of the public?
One has only to watch the debates in parliament in the UK to witness a remarkably outdated manner of communication where “order” is the way of the house. When will it change? I feel it must change with the momentum of a younger generation who look at this spectacle with little interest and most of all, little belief.
The disconnect between politicians and the public is greater than ever. You can pick any western country in the world (maybe apart from New Zealand to some extent) and look at the space between the reality of representing the interests of the people and the people. I would not even limit this to the so called western societies.
The politics of today, at least in the UK is one of short-termism. By default a term of 5 years can wreak havoc on a society depending on policies that come into force. But the main aim of the government is steer the ship so that it arrives in time for the next election for another steward to take over. Policy is secondary. It may sound one-sided but whether you are flying on a ticket of Brexit, a wall to block out immigrants the narrative is laid out to get from A to B.
Unbeknown to us, Covid 19 has now become part of the narrative. This changes things in a way never seen before for the elected government of this time.
The only constants are death, taxes and shame
The first two are the given cliche we are always reminded of. The last, shame is something that governments everywhere are having to contend with at some stage or another. It’s an impossibility that an elected government will not experience this.
What is dumbfounding sometimes is when it is played out on the channels of media in a debate, parliament or some scandal that was clearly avoidable.
From the UK government thinking it’s ok not to support vulnerable children with free school meals during school holidays (and we are have Covid) = shame.
A US televised debate preceding the election with a spectacle that can only be described as comical madness = shame.
The continuance of the blame game of interference of “external forces” to sway the election = shame. I could go on.
What is more potent is that in the midst of the invisible war against Covid-19, governments have shown that the deaths we are witnessing could be avoided.
The people are paying indirect taxes through loss of jobs. Why not a focus on the lack of spending by shifting from defence to health, for example? This, all rolled together is a shameful ending for an elected government.
The future is very bright
Can it get any worse? Yes, it could but there is a spark, albeit a dangerous and unregulated one that will possibly lead the way.
It may consist of a social media network that combines all social media channels in a unique and unregulated way, dark side hackers (or cyber criminals) redistributing large sums of wealth on a GDP scale, scientists becoming way more important than politicians, cryptocurrency as a primary transaction medium as well as recycling plants and global artificial intelligence run by a collective of man-made and computing rules that dictate essential core services to humanity. There will be NO overarching government in any country.
Pretty far-fetched? Think about it. We are getting to a stage where the new generation of youth are wired to a new way of thinking and values way beyond just what is usually touted as being negative i.e. “being online and socially detached”. Technology is reaching new heights impacting all facets of life.
As the world has become more globalised, developing nations are seeing swathes of vulnerable not just questioning their governments and the privileged but also embracing tools that will eventually combine with the birth of a bright new future. It’s just that the definition of a “bright future” will vary considerably.
I’ll leave it there.