Letter to the Editor published in the Victoria Times Colonist, 24 November 1996
Liberal democracy has been hailed in the western world as the ideal form of government, as the model which all the “dictatorial” powers of the world should strive towards. I cannot help but see a fundamental hypocrisy in this claim.
Democracy emerged two thousand years ago in the polis of ancient Greece. Meaning literally “the rule of the people,” democracy involved everyday people actively participating in governing their everyday lives.
Dictatorships do not claim to have democracy. Liberal democracies, such as those of Canada, Great Britain and the United States, do. I suggest that this is a lie.
As an eighteen year old male, I can expect to live to the age of 72.6, that is, for another 54 years. Since elections are held approximately every four years, 13.5 elections for each of the three levels of government will be held over the duration of my adult life. I can, therefore, expect to vote in 40 elections over my lifetime. Supposing that I will spend roughly one hour voting in each election, over the next 54.6 years that I will be eligible to vote, I can expect to spend 40 hours exercising my democratic right to do so.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but 40 hours of selecting someone else to rule over me does not constitute democracy.
The way I see it, we’re a little over a day and a half away from a dictatorship.