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Are we too dumb for democracy? New book looks at making good political decisions in the age of Trump & Brexit

Last Updated Mar 14, 2019 at 9:51 am PDT

Summary

Moscrop says democracy is being threatened on a number of fronts, but it's not too late to save it

Too Dumb for Democracy is available from Goose Lane Editions

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Making good political decisions is more important than ever, especially given challenges like democratic decline, environmental catastrophe, and terror at home and abroad, according to the author of a new book.

The full title of the book is Too Dumb for Democracy? Why We Make Bad Political Decisions and How We Can Make Better Ones.

So what is a good decision anyway? “A good political decision is one where you collect information about the world around you and then you can give reasons for or against whatever you might like or dislike that represents your true motivations rather than a attempt to delude yourself or to delude others,” explains political scientist David Moscrop.

He says process is important because even if two people disagree on an outcome, they can respect it if they both agree to the same set of rules or procedures. And a good process tends to produce better outcomes.

As to whether or not we are, in fact, too dumb for democracy, Moscrop says the good news is: not necessarily. “It’s not like we inherently don’t have the capacity to make good political decisions,” he explains. “The bad news is that we’re encouraged to make bad political decisions all the time.”

Moscrop admits while democracy is being threatened on a number of fronts around the world, it’s not too late to save it. “We can save it by doubling down on political engagement and participation at a time when we might be tempted to actually pull away,” he says. “Despite its flaws, and despite our challenges, democracy remains the better system compared to the rest. I’d rather have bad democracy than good autocracy any day.”

Too Dumb for Democracy is available from Goose Lane Editions.