I strongly believe democracy is the least bad form of government. I would far rather live in a country where you can express disagreements with government, campaign to change government policies, and vote to change the politicians if all else fails, than live in various types of tyranny or bureaucracy.
Democracy, though, brings tribulations with it. Sometimes the minority is right but unsuccessful in persuading the majority. UK democracy in my lifetime has visited upon us the Exchange Rate Mechanism which did large damage to our economy, with the agreement of all three main parties and most of the UK establishment. Those of us who opposed it were censured and criticised. It brought the big Labour credit bubble, boom and bust. This time various voices including at times the opposition parties highlighted the excessive credit and inflationary dangers, but the majority ignored us at huge cost to the country.
Democracy has also encouraged an activist type of politics, where many politicians think the way to popularity and re election is to spend ever more of their constituents’ money on their behalf. There is a tendency to overspend inherent in modern democracy, as it produces so many elected officials who think there is a government answer to every problem, and that the answer is usually the spending of more of someone else’s money to fix it.
The same impulse to activism makes of many MPs natural advocates of ever more regulation. Modern democracy is prey to well intentioned lobby groups, who marshall their case using PR and email camapigns. Many MPs think it easier to give in to whatever their demand may be, rather than arguing with them. Rarely do campaign groups campaign for repeal or for less government activity. They usually are completely signed up to the government must do something approach.
As a result pressures to give taxpayers a better deal and to limit the impulse to regulate and control usually comes in the form of an economic and financial crisis. After a period of build up in excess spending and government borrowing, market pressures, the views of the creditors, break through and force the elected government in crisis to take corrective action. Democracy would work better if the pressures from lobby groups were better balanced between those urging the government to do more, and those urging the government to do less.