If You Can Keep It…

This is likely more myth than fact, but apparently in the early days of the United States Benjamin Franklin was stopped in the street by a woman who asked him what sort of government they had devised; his reply was, “a republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.” They didn’t keep it, as far as I can tell, and neither did just about anyone else.

I’m not a fan of democracy. I think democracy sucks, to be truthful. The problem with democracy is that it puts political power into the hands of the people. I can hear your thoughts: “yah, that’s right, that’s the way it should be; power to the people!” Alright, the problem with this is that most people, and I mean MOST people are idiots. Being an idiot, in this context, isn’t necessarily about intelligence, but rather about the willingness to use intelligence. I actually think most people are probably naturally fairly smart, but they lack the motivation to actually apply their intelligence to anything. Or, equally likely, that their emotional attachments prevent them from thinking about things, because they’re too busy feeling about things instead.

My ideal government is a hybrid socialist utopia combined with a classic republic. The classic republic, to me, is one where the ruling body is not elected by the public at large, but rather appointed by a smaller group with the qualifications to determine who should form the government. If you think about it, the way it is in a modern democracy is that basically any citizen can vote, and the qualifications for being a citizen, as long as you’re born in the country, are nothing. So… think about this: the qualifications for determining who forms the government are NOTHING. I think this is nuts, personally. I’m a huge fan of the meritocracy, with the idea being that you must have certain qualifications before you’re allowed to participate in the selection of a government. In essence, rather than the government being of the people, by the people, and for the people, it instead is only of the people and for the people.

Which is an important point to make. I do think that the basic right and freedoms of the individual are very important. So in my ideal government the nation’s constitution enshrines these basic rights and the power of the governing body is limited by the constitution. In this way you could have an extremely capable and agile government, free from the incompetence and partisanship that drags down democratic governments, but you’d also ensure that the nation didn’t become a type of dictatorship where the people lost their rights along with their vote.

As far as the specific qualifications for having the right to participate in selecting people to form the government, those qualifications would be based on the values of the nation. I think that a nation should be run much like a corporation, and where a corporation should have a statement of mission and values, so too should a nation. For Canada, I can see our value statement highlighting the values of ethicality, progress, prosperity, productivity, efficiency, lawfulness, and honorability. By calling out what values are important to the nation it begins to form the basis for determining what criteria should be used to determine who should form the government and who should be allowed to participate in the selection process.


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