No.57: Democracy - The meaning of this word should be unambiguous. Derived from the Greek Demos (people) and Kratos (government), democracy should mean one thing: government by popular mandate.
Although MPs enter politics to serve the people, conflicts of interest are bound to occur at some point. They might wonder, are they in Parliament solely to serve the people? Or do they also have a duty to help out the lobbyists who hang out in Westminster. These lobbyists will often encourage MPs to see the world through their eyes. They might wave cash in front of them, thinking this'll help them focus. But instead the cash can cloud the judgment of these tired, overworked souls, leaving them listless and confused. Many become so disorientated they find themselves unwittingly working for the lobbyists, occasionally even influencing legislation in their favour.
This trend has inevitably altered the original meaning of the word democracy. And it is high time modern dictionaries reflected the fact. Here is our own breakdown of past and present definitions:-
- Athenian democracy - voting rights for all who are deemed 'citizens' - a relatively small proportion of the population by today's standards.
Later definitions (between C17th and C20th) :
- Government of the people, by the people, for the people. Ideally a contract (or compact) between the people and those governing on their behalf
- "The People's Government!! Whatever we do, we do it for you!" (Please refer to the Government handbook, Terms and Definitions for more about how it defines "The People".)