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Month: December 2017

What’s a demockracy?

– What’s a democracy? – Democracy means that people rule and the government respects the opinions of the citizens. – So the government should do what the people want? – In principle, yes, but… – Can a majority of the people decide to abolish the parliament? – No, the basic institutions of the state are usually set in the Constitution and constitutional rules are not to be changed like that. Everything that is in the constitution is off limits. – OK, I can see why. Can the people decide different groups deserve different pay for the same job? – No, even if this is not outlawed by the Constitution, there is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and fundamental human rights are not be changed by democratic majorities. – Makes sense. Can the people decide on gay marriage? That’s not in the Declaration. – Well, there are certain human rights that are not yet in constitutions and universal declaration, but we now recognize them as essential so they are also not subject to majorities. – OK, so in democracies the government does what the people want, but not when it comes to constitutional issues, recognized fundamental human rights, and other very important norms. – Yes. – So can the people decide to change the interest rate? – Oh, no! Not even politicians can do that. Monetary policy is delegated to independent central banks. – But people can decide on regulating tel… – Nope, regulation is basically all delegated to independent…