Month: December 2016

Democracy ~ What is the question most voters must be able to answer correctly?

I made the following statement and asked the question ~

To decide if a Democracy can survive and prosper, what is the question most voters must be able to answer correctly?

“In terms of digging a hole what is the difference between EFFECTIVENESS and EFFICIENCY?”

Here is my answer to the question expressed as concisely and as logically as I can.

In life we must as far as humanly possible, on a balance of probabilities, do the right thing right every time.

If we are asked to dig a hole, we have to ask “is the right thing to do?”; and if we think it is, then we must ask “do we know where to dig it and do we know the dimensions?” Will digging the hole be Effective?

When we are sure digging the hole will be an Effective solution to our problem then we must dig it (and refill it) using as few resources of time, energy and materials as possible, we must be Efficient.

If we dig the hole in the wrong place then the Effectiveness of our actions will be zero and all resources used wasted, no matter how Efficient our actions seemed to be. The Resource Intensity of our actions will be infinite.

If voters in a democracy are unaware of the distinction between Effectiveness and Efficiency then they are not in a position to judge the veracity of the policies placed before them at an election and so will not be able, on a balance of probabilities, to evaluate whether they will be effective in producing the outcomes claimed and efficient in using scarce public resources. Democracy will be imperiled, particularly when resources are constrained.

By extension voters become politicians and so they themselves will not be able to evaluate the veracity of the policies they are proposing to the electorate in respect of effectiveness and efficiency.

The blind leading the blind into oblivion.