At the House of Commons with Democracy Day due 20
January, the BBC yesterday got the moral and political philosopher, Professor
Michael Sandel, to spur an audience to apply some critical thinking to
democracy that was broadcast at 8:30am on Tuesday 20 January 2015. Michael
Sandel presented this special BBC Democracy Day edition of The Public Philosopher, recorded in the Palace of Westminster with
an audience of MPs, peers and the public the day before.

Sandel lead on a few issues, beginning with J.S.
Mill’s rather futile idea of giving many votes to the educated, as if even a
hundred votes could have anything like a hundred times the affect, or even any
effect at all of note, on the result in a very large electorate.

Few people want to think about democracy. 1) The
audience wanted, on principle, an equal vote, so there was a mass rejection of
Mill on more votes for the educated. Each vote should count the same. Yet the
consistency arrangement tended to rule that out. Many, as thoughtless as Mill,
thought that some system of PR might rescue the affect that a vote might but clearly a vote or many votes in a large
electorate is bound to be insignificant. This seemed not to be noticed at Westminster. 2) They also wanted accountability to the
public, as if that could be had in Representative Democracy [or in Delegative
Democracy either] where the experts make up long diverse manifestos that few
can find time to read and where any single issue, or topic, is basically well obfuscated. It might as well not be there. 3) They wanted
to do what is right [suggested by Sandel to be what is Politically Correct {PC}
but soon adopted by the audience of MPs and others as obvious too] even if
against the majority [they do not even notice that this PC meme is not one whit democratic, but rather sees it
as a duty to go against it on capital punishment; and indeed on any PC issue,
if ever it is rejected by a majority] so they reject referenda too, as it will
not do the right thing i.e. be PC. They all like the PC privileges on race and

Students do not like to be blamed for not
registering to vote. Blame itself is nasty and against PC. PC is against
judgement. Indeed, they were all far more PC than democratic. So when democracy clashes with PC it is held
to be wrong but they still want to say they are not ruling in favour of PC as
they feel PC is part of democracy in a way.

They conflate the two but not only does democracy
clash with PC, but with liberty too. But as democracy is always an attempt at
proactive coercion against others, so it is always somewhat illiberal. It is
intrinsically against liberty but, again, the audience conflated democracy with
liberty too; as do many in the mass media and even in political philosophy
departments in the colleges.

Many in the
audience held to Mill’s idea that voters needed to be educated, even if they
rejected his more-vote solution. They hinted at a solution of being paid to
spend time finding out instead, and many of the audience suggested special days
off to be educated before each pending General Election, an getting paid for educating
themselves about it from general taxation.

Some MPs feel that marginal seats are tails that wag
the dog in claiming all the attention of all the political parties and that
some form of PR might solve that imbalance, they said.

Democracy can be used by liberals to negate the
negation, to vote for rolling back the state or for full privatisation and that
is like reactive or defensive voting rather than a proactive attack on others.