If only we had some method of disseminating information instantly to millions of people, and…
Paul James
1

But it doesn’t work like that. Just take a simple issue, e.g. the best use for some park in an urban area (i.e. an issue _far_ less significant than a national education system or how to fund the NHS), and get just a few dozen people into a room to talk about it. The discussion will take 3 hours, and might not even get a clear conclusion. Try running the discussion on whether Heathrow should have a new runway just with a pub-sized crowd in West London. You’ll be there days, maybe weeks, maybe forever before getting a resolution. Just determining sensible possible steps on any question takes expertise and time; then informing and explaining to people takes time; determining the views of those informed people (if indeed they bother to get informed) will take much time. This is why we have representative democracies — to make this process vaguely tractable.

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