Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Humans rule their complicated society in quite odd ways. They elect people who will rule for them. Still, when there are difficult questions, these elected rulers may leave the decision to the whole people, nevertheless, through a referendum. Then, the politicians may vote against the will of the people from the referendum. This has happened in the little municipality Sjundeå in Finland, where a referendum was held earlier this autumn on the question of merging with two other municipalities. The people voted no, but the municipality council had the final say and voted yes today.

I do not know if I think referendums are good for democracy or bad. They show that you have elected politicians who are not able to stand up for what they believe is right. You elect politicians, so that you can use your time for other things than the broad questions of society. If the politicians will not do that, you still have to learn enough to make an informed vote in the referendum. Then, the politicians may vote against the result of the referendum, and you gained nothing but more contempt for them.

What other tradesmen let you make the most difficult choices yourself? If you hire a constuction firm to build a house, you do not have to chose the building material. If you bake a cake, you do not have to chose how to harvest the grain, but buy flour in a store. The politicians, however, leave the biggest issues to you - then they may just ignore the result that you and your fellow non-politicians vote for. No, if I would vote for leaders, I would want them to lead. Is it not this they are elected and paid for?

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