--- In Fabric-of-Reality@yahoogroups.com
, Elliot Temple <curi@...> wrote:
> On Sep 16, 2009, at 12:50 AM, inntranz wrote:
> > Apathy is the enemy of direct democracy, but IMHO apathy gets more criticism than it deserves. Life is short and one man's apathy is another man's well balanced set of priorities.
> The situation is better than that.
> These two men who see it differently don't have equally relevant perspectives.
Yes, but they both get one vote each.
> What matters is the man whose life it is, not the man with intrusive preferences about other people.
> Opposing the apathy of *other people*, in any strong or forceful way, is opposing freedom.
I don't believe any form of democracy, direct or representative, is a silver bullet for protecting freedom. On the other hand, the freedom to be apathetic seems one of the least likely to come under threat.
Like Charles and Bill, I live in New Zealand where the issue of direct democracy has suddenly become topical. In fact, this very weekend it literally had people marching in the streets.
A decade or so ago the government introduced a system of "non-binding citizen-initiated referenda". Topics covered over the years have included employment conditions for firemen, the number of MPs in parliament, harsher penalties for crime, and whether parents should be allowed to physically punish their children.
As far as I recall, the government has ignored the result of every referendum so far.
That it has taken us over a decade to take to the streets over this shows that apathy is a subject on which we are qualified to speak.
> Note: this applies to one's children.
The issue that finally got people protesting was that the right to hit their kids had been taken away from them. What to make of that, I'm not so sure.