Democracy has been under pressure for as long as it exists. This is simply because allowing a majority vote to rule is not the desire of the majority. Some people want to dictate what happens, some want to take what belongs to others and some want to experience total victory over people of opposing views. But we are now approaching a world in which the infiltration of people that advocate views because they get payed for it, and influence people because they get payed for it is becoming overwhelming. The problem being that pulic health, wealth and safety can not be ensured if leaders are serving specific commercial interests.
The common factor weakening democracy is distance, discretion. What people don’t know won’t hurt them you’d think, not so in politics. Research on lobbying in Holland shows that politicians are desperate to do the bidding of businesses, sometimes competitively. The difference between the left and the right then becomes between politicians that apply conscience and social considerations to serving those commecial interests and those that don’t. The line between unfair advantage and just supporting entrepeneurs is hard to draw. What should be the question is what makes a person a good politician? Responsiveness to these kinds of requests? Ability to maintain an ethical role while serving those requests?
Increasingly the question arises whether any person is ever able to persue laws that secure the health and happyness of people, since all politicians, except those born rich, depend on their financial security and are thus sensitive to financial rewards (be it now or promised in the future). People ‘coming up through the ranks’ can be vetted, supported, advised for years and given all the support to become the desired servant. Because of the vetting the person with the least moral objection to selling out will most easily attain the political role. Most people never think of the ones that don’t make it.
If all people are constantly exposed to messages that influence their feelings about issues, and if they are so easily persuaded to chase financial rewards (because really don’t think those laws they promote, written by businesses, do not come with some), then why should we use such people in politics. It’s the quality of the lie (I am like you) and the promise of protection (I represent you) which are the only reason why a politician should be a known individual, why democracy works. But if a constituency has a person that just wants to make money he can use his origin and promise improvement and gain the position of power from which to commecially serve anyone with a cash. There is no way to rely this doesn’t happen. Politicians and lobbyists do everything they can to hide it as it does (not if, it happens, that is for sure).
So this builds a case for appointed politicians who’s income is limited. Open elections and controlled representation in the media. Money has to get out of the game. Lies and pretense can’t matter. You can select a politician on their view, but you can also give him/her the experiences she needs to develop those views. This is almost a call for a new elite, a new well educated experienced group we know has the sensibility to make the right decisions because they have been able to practice in their life. Not based on a struggle to gain financial freedom or weight.
Dealmakers are out, we don’t need polticians to make deals because we don’t want industry and businesses to assert themselves through our laws. Laws are there to keep us safe, happy, healthy and prosperous, all of us, with no exception. To represent is an honour, not a job. Anyone doing it will need to sustain a reasonable lifestyle, and should be prevented from accepting delayed bribes (speeches, commisariats, symbolic roles in industry) at all times. They should also share the lives of all groups of society, so they don’t lack empathy that then drives division and suffering.