Random Thoughts on the Majority / Minority Syndrome - Alcyonenews

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Posted June 14, 2024

Random Thoughts on the Majority / Minority Syndrome

It is essential that we know what we are talking about, but we not always do and often we are ignorant of our ignorance.  We talk ad nauseam about  “Majority” and “Minority” forever bickering about the “tyranny” of the one over the other, and the compliance of each with Democratia.  This while the “decisions” are made by the PM’s “re-election squad”, aka the PMO, whose primary purpose is other than the well-being of the society.  Jean Chretien let it all out in his book My Years as a Prime Minister:  “To be frank, politics is about wanting power, getting it, exercising it, and keeping it.  Helping people comes with it naturally [by-product or collateral damage?] because you’ll  never be elected if you treat people badly.”  The illusions of democracy are burned into our minds by the phantom pushers of the Mighty Myths who rule and ruin our lives.

In general terms, Majority is “more than half of the Whole”; Minority is “less than half of  the Whole”.  Does it then make sense to make decisions that would affect the well-being of 40 million Canadians on the basis of the “beliefs” of “20 Million-plus a Few” and against the beliefs of “20 Million-less a Few”?  Were this to be true would it not mean that a minority, a tiny one that the “Few” often are, “govern” the whole society?  Then is there any meaning left to the assertion that democratia is Rule by the majority?

Majorities and minorities are determined by head-count. On the political stage, this  happens in referenda balloting.  As for the parliamentary elections, head-counting has been highjacked by the political parties and metamorphosed into “Rubberstamp-counting.    

Surely, a steady five year long “majority” is a fantasy in our fast changing world but we do it.  To that end, the electorate is divided into four groups as follows: ”For A”; “For B”; “Against A” and “Against B”.  The larger sum from ( For A + Against B ) and ( For B +Against A ) becomes the “elected despot”.  Whatever this may be, democratia it ain’t.  Then what is Democratia in the Majority - Minority context?  

Usually ideas originate in one person’s mind.  Then bounce off other minds in the process known as “debate”.  This not unlike a chunk of rock falling into a water stream and being rolled by the stream, rubbing against other stones into some “round” shape of appealing appearance (Hence Mick Jagger’s Rolling Stones!).

There are two significant aspects to that.  Like newly hatched chicks, new knowledge must go through “fledging” process.  The other is familiarity, making friends, letting the people know the New.  This, the latter, exacerbated  by making people fear and resent change for the perpetuation of the status quo.  In other words, it takes time before the new becomes doable.

To deny society the benefit from the New till everyone becomes familiar with and appreciates the New, would be unfair to the Whole.  Imagine how long it would take Kitty Hawk to become Boeing 747, if air-phobic and luddite minorities had aborted the Kitty Hawk maiden flight.

Talking in terms of Minorities and Majorities is divisive.  Separation lines criss-cross the societal map. These need not be made battlelines but they often are, sad to say.

Both majorities and minorities are too numerous to mention because People are born with a defining characteristic such as being red-haired, and flock together with birds of the same feather such as Golfers, barbershop singers, or bicycle thieves.  The number of such characteristics is infinite in the contemporary society and so be it.  Be so in all, save in politics where things are different and the difference matters.  The practice of splitting the electorate into a Majority and a Minority disenfranchise vast numbers of citizens.  And delivers the nation to be governed by bullies who promise not to govern us “badly”.

When things get that low, decent people stay away from the Gang Wars.  

Democratia is not a system where politicians split the society so as to “divide and rule”.  Democratia is a system that unites the society in a continuous drive to excel.  No minority, not even a majority may contain the best.  In contrast, the Whole cannot but contain the best.  A prime purpose of Democratia is to ensure thst the best are in the  helm of the ship of state.

It is to prevent democratia threatening the status quo that Political Parties were formed, not unlike the protection gangs in an unruly society.   

Because a free society is fluid.  As an old CBC encyclical to Journalists put it: “We must remain flexible lest we become rigid”.
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