While doing the 'Lotto' this week, a thought occurred to me.
In my area, I had a choice of three or four Lotto terminals to choose from for starters. The Lotto question is straightforward enough. You are given forty-something numbers to pick seven from and the winner gets millions of euros. So the stakes are high and the system must be almost flawless.
But prior to doing the Lotto I had to go to an ATM machine to get cash. A private company, a bank, issued me with this card unique to me and on reading the card, the bank system can locate my account among millions of others and carry out a complex handshake transaction by lowering my balance and giving me the cash equivalent on the spot.
In this country we vote in our Government for five years and we have discovered that the promises they make to get our votes are lies at best. But worse than that, the new Government makes decisions which hurt those who voted for them but very often makes money on the side for individuals in the Government. What is most vexing is that they tell us they have our mandate to do it because we are a democracy. Anyone remember the solemn moon eyes facing the cameras talking about the so-called "Hard Decisions?"
But the lotto and the ATM machine showed me that it needn't be like this. If we are truly a democracy and the will of the people rules then there is a way for us to take a vote on absolutley everything. If an ATM can verify your identity and a lotto machine can register your five decisions on forty-plus different choices, then the combination of both technologies would allow the citizens to cast votes as often as decisions arose. The plastic voting card issued to each one of us would be unique and the voting system would be even simpler than Lotto numbers because the question asked would only require a yes or no.
Think of the abortion referendum and how no political party wants to go near it for fear of getting burned by the issue. Just let the people decide I say. Put the question to us any day of the week you like and we all have a voice. Regardless of which way it goes after that, we are stuck with it. That's democracy surely? They've set up a commission to look at Irish Water and when you research the hand-picked stooges on that committee you know their findings are a foregone conclusion. Most of them are from abroad so they won't be paying it anyway. So why not ask us, the affected party, for our decision on the matter. After all, if we do say no then the well-paid politicians have to find another way, don't they?
This modern system gives everyone a voice and it would mean that the people would let the politicians know what they want. The job of the politician would then become finding a way to implement the people's will. Issues should be presented in a cold unambiguous way in question format with a simple yes or no from all of us deciding it. Laws imposed on us without our consent spread anger and resentment but a majority decision on every aspect of our lives would leave little room for grumbling. Those who don't want to vote on a specific issue need not do so, as it the case now anyway.
Millions do the Euro Millions draw a couple of times a week and yet the result is in the next day. The Government at any time would have the will of the people overnight. It would be fair, just and equitable. And there need be no limit to the amount of issues put to the people. BREXIT has been high on everybody's agenda lately and Dame Enda has stuck his nose in it more than once. Why didn't he ask us if that's what we wanted him to do. A simple question like, "Do you want out leader to go to the UK and try to influence Irish voters there to vote Remain?" That's all it would have taken. I disagreed with him doing it but if the majority wanted it, then fine by me. That's democracy! We could even actually get a vote on whether we want a smoking ban. Remember, we were never asked about that one.
As it stands at the moment, the system is being abused by our representatives, often for their own benefit. An electronic based instant system like the Lotto or the ATM's puts the power of decision making back where it should be. The bozos in the Dail are called representatives because they are supposed to represent the opinions of those who voted for them. My system, which I hereby christen the "Votto" wouldn't even leave them squirm room. Of course, none of this is likely to happen because we have most likely had our democratic rights given away in return for some of those self same politicians getting jobs in Europe. That's the awful reality!
But just dream with me for a moment. If you'd been asked at the time, "Should we burn the bondholders?" what would you have said, Yes of No?
I rest my case.