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Sunday, 13 November 2011

The democratic deficit: The removal of democratically elected leaders and their replacement by technocrats

in Greece and Italy, this week has seen the removal of democratically elected leaders who have been replaced by unelected technocrats. To me there are issues around this, in no particular order:
Firstly – these governments are representative governments. There are the result of indirect democracy, not direct i.e. they are elected to represent those who elected them. Therefore, they should have the power to take even the most significant decisions without having to refer back to their electors.
Secondly: something as huge as what's been going on with regards to the austerity measures should have democratic backing. It might even get the people on side
Third: if they hadn't screwed up their economy in the first place they wouldn't be in this situation at all.
Fourthly: elections take time, decisions are needed now.
Fifthly: the needs of the financial markets and ratings agencies are being put above the democratic desires of the populations of these countries. But, at the end of the day the reason for this is that their economy is up the creek and they need to borrow money on someone else's terms.

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