My belief that citizens are wiser and more far-sighted than politicians has grown over a long period of time. Here are three examples:
The Old-Car Disposal Bonus
The day before yesterday (Tuesday, March, 24th), the Bavarian Radio Studios invited its listeners to voice their opinions:
To be sure, this vote was not a representative survey. Rather, it is a mirror of how the users of BR-online feel. However, the result is significant: 82 % of all users were against an extension of the time limit.
Yesterday (Wednesday, March, 25th), the federal government decided that the federal bonus on old-car disposal for promotion of new car sales is to be extended and increased. Is this election campaigning? I will refrain from repeating all the many reasons against the old-car disposal bonus.
Non-Smoking in Public Places
The majority of Bavarians want a strict, simple, and practicable non-smoking policy in public buildings. Now, the Bavarian government undermined Bavarian law. They did this in the most sensitive place, namely in the area where youngsters should be protected. The places where the new rule permits smoking are those where most young people are frequently found, namely discotheques and “drink dominated” pubs. Politicians are afraid to give us the simple and concrete laws we would have wished to have.
A number of surveys – one of them done by the Bavarian Radio Station – have come to the conclusion that a surprisingly high majority of Germans would like a speed limit on motorways. There are simply too many reasons in favour of a speed limit:
– Reduction of accidents with seriously injured and dead: Just go and ask a fire fighter in the south-east of Munich what he has witnessed on the A99 over the last few years!
– Saving Energy: Just take a look at the petrol-consumption display when you go 90 km/h as opposed to when you go 150 km/h.
Moreover, if we had introduced a speed limit 20 years ago, the automobile industry would have been conditioned to developing energy-aware instead of complex high-speed vehicles.
But regardless of the threatening climate catastrophe, no politician talks speed limit.
As you can see, the citizens are rally wiser than the politicians.
So why do the citizens vote for the current politicians?
My answer is: many no longer vote, some of them consciously, some unconsciously. And there are no democratic alternatives.
(translated by EG)