Public at large most of the time is unaware of the true nature of matters that governments need to decide. These may be in the long term interests of the country or may be short term interests of the ruling elites to the detriment of the national interests. There are always opposing arguments put forward for a decision either genuinely concerned or for some vested interests. Every stakeholder affected by a decision tries to win the position by prevailing the opposing thoughts. In this war, the stakeholders seek majority vote to win their respective positions – a very democratic way.
But what if “YES” vote is in national interest and “NO” vote is against and “NO” wins the majority vote or vice versa.
Electronic and digital media is playing a pivotal role in changing demographics all around world. Through mass media campaigns governments, organizations can influence public opinion to their vested interests. Two very recent examples highlight the point in discussion.
Take the case of “BREXIT”, there are many arguments in favor of and against but considered and well researched arguments are for against “BREXIT” but public opinion was molded through clever media campaign – threats from immigrants, stealing jobs from English people – so now we have “BREXIT”. The hesitation of the UK government for invoking the article 50 shows that “BREXIT” is not in national interest, but “DEMOCRACY” says otherwise.
Another example of “DEMOCRACY” is the nomination of Mr. Trump as the Presidential Candidate of Republican Party. According to unbiased and corroborated analysis of Mr. Trump, he is not fit for Presidency of United States of America. Sloganeering has always been part of elections, of course; remember “Yes, we can” and “Hope and change”. He wins the nomination because of popular demands (anti-immigration, isolationist). “Historians against Trump” said about the populism: Historians of different specialties, eras and regions understand the enduring appeal of demagogues, the promise and peril of populism, and the political uses of bigotry and scapegoating. Nomination of Mr. Trump is not based on “REASONS” but on “DEMOCRACY”. Popular demands may not be in the best national interests.
Should we let the “DEMOCRACY” decide or let the “REASON” prevail?