A critique of democracy – a focus on popularity

One of the fundamental challenges during the election process lies in the fact that candidates are primarily chosen based on their popularity, rather than their abilities or the correctness of their ideas. The main ambition of every candidate during an election is not to become the best person for a particular position but to win as many votes as possible.

To achieve a high number of votes, a candidate is compelled to engage in activities that are popular among voters, which does not necessarily mean that these activities are morally or practically correct.

There are candidates who could be exceptionally capable and qualified for certain positions but are naturally inclined to avoid public attention, photography, and appearances on posters. Such candidates rarely gain broader support because they do not meet the need for visibility that is crucial for winning votes.

On the other hand, celebrities from the media, athletes, singers, and actors already have an established fan base, which allows them to easily gather support, regardless of the actual qualities or abilities they possess for political duties.

Before the elections, we witness candidates competing in the number of TV appearances, photo ops with people, participation in events, and media presence. The purpose of this competition is to maximally increase their visibility and popularity.

It is particularly interesting to note that many candidates are already part of the governing structure, and in the month before the election, they do nothing but dedicate themselves to the campaign, implying that perhaps they were not actively involved in significant activities before, given that they can easily take time off for the campaign.

A related problem is the behavior of officials who already hold positions. To be re-elected and secure support, they often opt for moves that can secure them another term, regardless of whether those moves are truly beneficial for the community or can be harmful.

There are numerous examples where loans and debts are raised for projects that may seem beneficial at first glance but actually serve as a means to increase popularity. Or social benefits and salaries are increased before elections without considering the long-term consequences of these decisions.

The large administration, known as ‘cronyism’, functions as a secure voting body and is rarely targeted for layoffs, because such a move would lead to the loss of broad support, and the initiator would not have personal benefits. The primary goal remains to retain or come to power, not necessarily to act in the public interest.

This way, we end up with a government that is based more on popularity than on the actual ability or correctness of policies.