Wednesday, 12 March 2008

"A peaceful transfer of power"

I enjoyed this comment on democracy by Ludwig von Mises from his autobiographical 'Notes & Reflections':
Technical proposals for changes in the election system ... would be no solution. If the masses of people oppose an administration that was formed by a minority, it cannot indefinitely survive. If it refuses to yield to public opinion, it will be overthrown by revolution. The preferability of democracy consists in the fact that it facilitates a peaceful [transfer of power].
This doesn't contradict what I've said before about democracy: that democracy is no guarantee of freedom; that a majority can just as easily to vote away its own freedoms and those of minorities as it will to have them protected; that unless some things are put beyond the vote, then democracy is little more than sophisticated mob rule ... but it does help to explain why genuine democracies generally have fewer armed mobs in the streets trying to lynch their head of state.

As I recall, even Muldoon when Prime Minister once explained he was opposed to introducing a four-year term for government here because without the constitutional protection of other countries, New Zealand's three-year term at least allowed NZers to throw the bastards out when they'd had enough of them.

1 comment:

  1. So...does New Zealand not have a constitution?
    That explains a lot.


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