Comment 63545

By moylek (registered) - website | Posted May 15, 2011 at 09:27:45

A free and open voting system is a hallmark of democracy but is not to be equated with democracy. A democratic society has many preconditions and many other important foundations.

Our society is (relatively) just, (relatively) fair, (relatively) safe and (relatively) open. But that's not simply because we have voted for policies or people who support platforms of policies. We have traditions of education, mutual aid, charity, consultative assemblies and corporate action which predate the universal franchise by centuries. We expect to do things for and with one another.

Our electoral democracy is built on a heavy foundation of social interaction, mutual expectation and voluntary service: we expect to rely on our communities and not just our families, to work together for the commonweal, to sacrifice what is ours alone for what is ours together. Our democracy is not just about voting: it's about paying for public parks and universal education; coaching soccer and leading Girl Guide packs; 4H clubs and church organ funds; neighbourhood committees and parents volunteering at school.

If you look at our voting system and fail to see democracy, then it's partly because you're looking at the driver's seat and wondering why you don't see the engine.

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