Democracy is Poll-ocracy. So what makes the election day polls so special? Tiny difference in timing can make an enormous difference in general election preferences. Democracy is not simply the tyranny of the four percent who actually decide the election, but the tyranny of the four percent who actually decide the election during a single day. Why not have an election day be every day, and simply allow people to change their votes for the candidate they desire at any point in the year? Why not make the telephone polls just as authoritative as going to the ballot box? And if elections are bad, primaries are a disaster. What makes caucuses a good idea in the first place? A presidential nominating caucus can easily get results far different from an open primary held on the same day and in the same state. And an open primary, which includes independents, can easily get results far different from those of a closed primary. Had the entire Democratic race been composed entirely of caucuses, Bernie would have already won. Had the entire Democratic race been composed of closed primaries, Bernie wouldn’t have won ten states. In any case, popularity has only a tenuous relation with justice. Most people are so misinformed as to think government-funded free preschool is a good idea.

In a democracy, the will of the people tends to prevail. But whether it should do so or not, it does so extremely imperfectly. There is too much ossification in democracy. Its present form should be challenged to further its improvement. To connect policymaking closer with the desires of the people, there should be far more direct referendums than there are today, and at least one house should have its members be selected randomly from the general populace. Whether that’s desirable or not remains to be seen.

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