I imagine that many people out there, quite like myself, are becoming sick of political strife and bickering between parties. But it doesn't have to be this way. Let me paint a picture by way of example:
You go out to dinner with a few of your best friends, 7 people in all. Each of you sits down and reads the menu, carefully looking over the scrumptious choices and weighing your options. Salads, burgers, pasta, fajitas, the options are endless, and you can feel your mouth watering as you read on and finally make your choice. You've decided to go for the baby back ribs, a full half slab tenderly cooked and dripping with rich BBQ sauce, with an icy cold one on the side. The waitress arrives and asks everyone if they've decided, but no, someone in the group still hasn't made up their mind. You begin to get anxious, you skipped lunch today. So the whole group waits another 10 minutes or so while the last person figures out what they want. Finally they do, and the whole group breathes a sigh of relief. Time to vote!
3 people of the group want salads, 3 want burgers, and you're the only person who wants baby back ribs. There's no clear majority, so no one gets to eat until at least 4 people want the same thing. So, a half hour after actually arriving at the restaurant, the deliberation begins. Salad proponents argue that their dinner choice is healthier and costs less. Burger proponents claim the meat would be more filling, and provide better bang for the buck. They also start a vicious smear campaign about the mess that comes from eating baby back ribs. It becomes clear to you that BBQ ribs are not going to be an option, but should you settle for salad or burgers? Personally you hate salads, but the burger proponents seemed so mean and it would be really nice to screw them over.
Its now been one hour since the group of 7 arrived at the restaurant. Salad proponents proposed a reconciliation that would allow for cuts of died chicken to be included in their veggie mix, but burger proponents struck back with their own plan to include lettuce as a topping under their buns. Your stomach begins to ache, its close to 8 o'clock and no one has had anything to eat. Moods begin to turn sour. The pro-burger party begins name calling the salad eaters "hippy vegan American beef haters" while the salad party begins a filibuster of the lettuce-as-a-topping idea by talking about which breed of cat makes the best household pet. You smack your head on the table and begin to wonder why they didn't bring out the steak knives before the food was served. Then you think of a brilliant plan! Why not use your position as a swing vote to conjure up some sweet deals? You start entertaining offers for your vote. The salads party offers to pay for your portion of the tip, Burgers want to make amends by paying for your drink. Both are enticing offers but in but in the end you decided to cast your vote for the salad's party. The burger party is furious, insisting that you are soo not invited to the next office party.
It doesn't matter, at least you get to eat. Someone flags down the waitress and informs her that everyone will be getting salad with diced cuts of chicken on the side. "Sounds good," says the Waitress "Seven salads with chicken, what kind of dressing do you want?" Everyone's eyes widen, and a few people slump back in their chair and groan, this is going to be a long night.
The obvious answer which should be screaming to everyone at this point, is that each person should simply get what they want. If they're each paying with their own money, and they each want different things, whats the point in trying to find common agreement? Democracy imposes a "one size fits all" solution model that is fair to the majority, but screws over the minority in the process. If you've ever been on a losing side of an election (and most of us have) you know exactly how this feels.
In some cases there isn't even a majority to be found, and this results in representatives getting sweeter deals just to join a particular side. But this is wrong, and I believe we shouldn't be greasing the insides of the political pipeline with pork budgets and pet projects just to get work done.
There are several alternatives to democracy, and some of them aren't too pretty. This observation can leave one with the impression that any kind of anti-democratic idea is bad. I try not to be so closed minded. Personally I have a certain intrigue in an "A La Carte" form of government. It's based on one simple idea: never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.
Democracy can be problematic because it doesn't discriminate between the good ideas or the bad ideas, it simply decides based on the popularity of those ideas. Unfortunately, its possible to make very bad ideas seem like good ones. If enough people want me to, I'll expand on this in the future. But for now remember this: perhaps there are some situations where instead of endlessly bickering over which idea is right, everyone can get what they want at the same time.