– Pre-script: Change the name David Cameron for Barack Obama it generally reads the same.
Mrs Smith: Good morning children, and I would like you to welcome our Prime Minister David Cameron who is here this morning to tell us all about democracy.
David: Thank you Mrs Smith. Good morning children! So the Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Democracy’ as “a system of government in which all the people of a state or polity are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly”. Now I know that might be quite complex for you youngsters but I’ll go in to it a little more, but what I want to say first of all is that the country you live in, England, or more widely the United Kingdom, is a democracy. Now do we have any questions so far? Yes you, boy.
Boy: so does everyone have to vote so everyone is having a choice?
David: No; not voting is only showing that we can exercise our democratic right to vote and no to vote if we so choose! And so…
Boy: how many people did vote?
David: well, err, 28% that’s 28 people out of every 100 children
Boy: that’s not very many!
Girl: Sir, my mummy says that the low voter turnout implies that the options on offer do not represent the choices with which people would make if they were to make decisions directly. Is the definition of democracy wrong then because it doesn’t sound like here?
David: Well, no, err b-but…
Other boy: Why are there only two main parties in this country?
David: Well, that’s because running election campaigns are expensive if you want to be taken to be a serious contender and we are reliant on donations of which only two parties are seen as worthy for these…
Other girl: But yay daddy says that’s the definition of a plutocracy where power is derived from wealth and any system which would look to diminish the rich people’s wealth is doomed to fail.
David: W-What, a plutocracy? You…
Boy: Why do so many leaders come from only the best schools, like Eton?
David: It is often people following in their parents footsteps. It is difficult entering politics as a complete outsider…
Girl: But teacher says this is the definition of an oligarchy; a country controlled by a select group, in this case the privately educated- that’s far from democracy.
David: Err… You can enter government from outside the establishment, it’s just that…
Other girl: If people outside government didn’t like you and wanted you to quit would you do it?
Cameron: Of course not, it is my duty to serve…
Boy: This sounds like a dictatorship then!
Cameron: No, no! We have the house commons, and the House of Lords!
Other boy: Well we have already established the House of Commons is an oligarchy. The House of Lords is either hereditary (a form of oligarchy, which is currently chauvinistic*) or by appointment primarily from those with government interests, so a concentrated oligarchy appointed by a plutocracy, governed by a dictator!
Cameron: Oh just shut up will you!
Boy: Ah! Stopping our free speech, well that’s very democratic! Oi, come back, I have yet to show you how un-democratic corporate lobbying is!
*Only 2 of the 98 hereditary lords in the house of lords are female.