VOTE(?) Credit: JB / Flickr Creative Commons.
The UK. Colombian voters . The US presidential election . It’s enough to make someone wonder… is representative democracy all it’s cracked up to be? , a professor at Georgetown and author of , thinks it may be time to reevaluate whether democracy really is the best form of government.
- People think that participating in democracy makes us better, more virtuous citizens. Brennan says that’s just not true: “Over the past sixty years, we’ve been conducting a massive amount of studies on voter behavior, political behavior - and it looks like politics tends to make us meaner and dumber rather than smarter and nicer.”
- Brennan thinks democracy should be judged by its results. Democracy doesn’t, by itself, make people engaged or informed. Instead, Brennan sees democracy as a tool to improve the lives of a country’s citizens. If the tool isn’t working, it should be replaced.
- There’s no obvious next step to make democracy better. Brennan thinks we could try prioritizing informed voters over non-informed ones, or require all voters to learn basic facts. But whatever the result, Brennan insists that we shouldn’t stop trying to find a government system that works better.
- Turns out, this election’s got a lot of people thinking about democracy. Here’s The New York Times .
- What happens when an election ?
- A look at .