March 25, 2008

Intolerance hinders Democracy

Why it is impotant that we take notice of the bigotry within our countries

The bedrock of democracy is the allowance of all people over a certain age to vote. This way a diverse range of voters will cast there precious votes to ensure that their political wants are taken into account. This seems perfect on the very surface. You can imagine people queuing up with gumdrop smiles and jigging their way into the local voting stations.

But, for a country that now recognizes that your religion, gender, race or sexual preference should have no effect on your success as a politician or anything for that matter, how can it reconcile the fact that voters may be choosing who to vote for on purely bigoted grounds? for instance; deciding not to vote democratic this year because you would rather have another republican in power than a woman or a black guy. This seems to me to take away the whole point of politics if people (probably not the majority) are voting and not taking into account a senators political stances or policies but taking into account only race or gender.

A recent pole suggested that a large amount of Americans believed Barack Obama to be a Muslim. Now why would they immediately pigeon-hole him into the Muslim category? It doesn't take a huge IQ to conclude that it is simply his skin-colour that brought on such ignorance. As a side thought; I wonder how many average American Joes would vote for a Muslim...

This whole idea that people ignore politics and cast votes based on gender, race or sexuality makes me fear for the whole of the democratic system. It is throwing away a beautiful and pure system for choosing who you think deserves to be in power based on politics and replaces it with a perhaps racist or ignorant persons chance to throw away a great opportunity to make a better decision.

In England there is a party called the British National Party, who have been rightly dubbed the "British Nazi Party" because of their out rightly racist and intolerant views on immigrants (legal and illegal). I believe that this party has its origins in pure and simple bigotry; At one of their meetings on a BBC documentary one of the members stated that he "would rather have no Prime Minister than have a black Prime Minister" to which the crowd wooted and clapped. Is this politics? or is it racism and intolerance covered under a political veneer? the answer is obvious, and this type of person is watering down the voting system by voting on anything but political pretences.

Since the terrorist attacks on our countries our society has fragmented and racial tensions have risen, and nothing much has been done to mend them. Until we do, people like those in the BNP will continue to draw new members and spread their message of undemocratic intolerance.

Obstacles of freedom

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