Democratic Moment Of The Week
March 26, 2016
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It was Winston Churchill who said the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. The pragmatic politician – and we have not had one of those for some time – would only hold a vote they knew they were going to win. But there is a new mood abroad where voters seem increasingly eager to demonstrate their anarchic tendency aka inherent stupidity.
The latest victim of this trend is the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) who have a new multi-million pound research vessel. Some bright spark thought it would be a good wheeze to ask the public via the world-wide web to suggest and vote on a name for it. It has worked from a publicity perspective – the NERC has emerged from its erstwhile worthy obscurity – but they must have been taken aback by the frontrunner in the poll. Instead of some anodyne but safe as houses name like the Endeavour or the Sir David Attenborough, there is a tidal wave of support for Boaty McBoatface.
Fortunately, the NERC had the good sense to bury in the terms and conditions of the exercise that they were not obligated to accept the winning entry. Now why didn’t the Republicans think of that?