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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Majority Rule

I don't often touch on things political, but the recent election coverage reminded me of this splendid observation on the nature of democracy by Piet Hein.

MAJORITY RULE

His party was the Brotherhood of Brothers,
and there were more of them than of the others.
That is, they constituted that minority
which formed the greater part of the majority.

Within the party, he was of the faction
that was supported by the greater fraction.
And in each group, within each group, he sought
the group that could command the most support.

The final group had finally elected
a triumvirate whom they all respected.
Now, of these three, two had final word,
because the two could overrule the third.
One of these two was relatively weak,
so one alone stood at the final peak.

He was: THE GREATER NUMBER of the pair
which formed the most part of the three that were
elected by the most of those whose boast
it was to represent the most of the most
of most of most of the entire state --
or of the most of it at any rate.

He never gave himself a moment's slumber
but sought the welfare of the greater number.
And all people, everywhere they went,
knew to their cost exactly what it meant
to be dictated to by the majority.
But that meant nothing, - they were the minority.

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2 Comments:

Blogger John J said...

Food for thought indeed.

Thanks Phil.

JJ

May 1, 2010 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

All this talk of minority government... It would be just so much easier if I was to just take control of things.
No messy elections anymore...

"King Al" sort of has a ring to it... (a bit like "Fecking Al"?)

May 1, 2010 at 4:31 PM  

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