With Brexit and the shenanigans in the US Capitol I've been thinking about how fragile Democracy is. That's kind of a lie though. It really got hammered home to me in June 2016 when one nation voted to leave the EU and other nation decided to elect a sociopath.
This is what happens when you have a bunch of voters who decide to not just protest but elect people to tear down the social structure because they feel far away from the democratic processes of a country. It reminds me of a badly broken down relationship between two people.
But Democracy is a relationship. It's the relationship between elected representatives who form a government and the people. For any relationship to be healthy you need communication. For a Democratic relationship to be healthy you need to have a populace that is engaged with it. You need to work at it.
The state of a healthy relationship involves constant communication. The trouble with a lot of democracies is that communication tends to happen once every few year when people vote. Some voters (and lobbyists) realize this and use their time between elections to lobby their elected representatives. This is one of the many ways that a relationship and also your Democracy can be healthy. Another good indicator of a Democracy's health is just who can vote. To be a true Democracy everyone should have the right to vote, and everyone should vote.
Unhealthy democracies seek to disenfranchise voters with ID checks, and intimidation at the voting poles. Unhealthy democracies can often be populist democracies. Populists like any psychopath seeks to control the relationship between it's self and it's voters. It can do this in many ways mainly through gas lighting. Either by whipping up people to support them through the media. Or by encouraging others that it is pointless to vote. It makes no difference, the government doesn't represent you. You aren't interested in politics anyway.
Thing is, regardless who you vote for, or if you vote, politicians are part of the legislative branch of Governments. You have a duty to yourself to keep an eye on politics because they make the very laws and create the very policies that affect your life. You ignore politics and Democracy at your peril. I suspect that the Republicans in the US and the Conservatives in the UK rely quite a bit on voter apathy. Their dyed in the wool Conservatives will ALWAYS vote. They know that not every one sees the point in voting. They will try to outlast your patience because they know what is at stake.
What's at stake? YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!
Yes I shouted in all caps. You should never underestimate the desire for some people out there who wish certain individuals didn't have the right to vote. Your right to vote and have a Democracy is a human right. But human rights are in danger. Why else do you see active attempts in the US to disenfranchise Black voters? This is why Stacy Abrams work in Georgia to get voters registered in Georgia is phenomenal. Look at the results.
This is why the Conservatives don't want Scotland to have another Independence Referendum. "The people voted" they say as they tear down food standards and working rights. "You can't keep having Referendums all the time!"
So if you believe in Human Rights then the first thing you must do is VOTE! Then continue to keep an eye on your government and lobby your representatives. If you can vote, ensure that your friends do to. If they have barriers in their way help them surmount them. Give them a lift to the voting place. If they need an address to register to vote help them find one. You cannot safeguard a Democracy unless everyone votes, that includes Prisoners by the way. We are against people who wish the poor didn't have the vote, or women, or black people. They will use any excuse to roll back Democracy because they don't believe that everyone should have a say.
This isn't hyperbole. At the moment in the UK we have a home office minister who believes that the UK should have Capitol Punishment again. State mandated murder!
Governments do need to listen to their voters, but like any parent (when you elect your government that's what you are doing, you elect people who make laws that affect your life and how you live it), a responsible government needs to consider what is best for the entirety of its populace. A moral government needs to think about how to keep that populace healthy. A healthy populace is a productive populace.
But if we don't do the responsible thing and actively campaign and get involved in our Democracy if we don't vote we are in danger of choosing who to vote in as a Government. The people who control Westminster are truly repugnant individuals who will think nothing of stepping on the poor. They have no empathy, they only want to make money and choose who to help.
Look at our media, look at the Prime Minister and think on the fact that the 2nd heir in to the throne in the UK got taught at the same school. Look at the society that is in charge and believes they should be in charge. You frightened yet? Not nearly frightened enough!