Monday, October 08, 2007

Democracy in action

So the voters of Costa Rica have approved a free trade agreement with the US, in the teeth of strong trade union opposition, and the sort of campus intimidation we're seeing more and more, from the political left:

CAFTA's opponents have routinely threatened its supporters with violence, and supporters have often had to be escorted by police during community debates. In public universities, students who favor the agreement have been physically prevented from distributing literature. In one widely publicized case, a student was attacked.
I can't find the link again, but I believe up to 100,000 people marched against the agreement, but to no avail:
With 96.3 percent of the vote counted, 51.6 percent of voters backed the agreement while 48.4 percent voted against it, Costa Rica's electoral tribunal said on its Web site.
It just goes to show. Large left wing street demonstrations mean very little. But why is it that the right and centre have so much less success in turning out demonstrators. In one of his books, P J O'Rourke reported a theory that had been suggested to him: "We have jobs".

1 comment:

JohnM said...

There's another reason.

Traditional conservatives have tended to believe in existing institutions and particularly their capacity for self reform. This contrasts with the left wing view of the world as basically a power struggle where any concessions are wrung unwillingly by mass action.

Therefore by definition, left wingers assume that all change is predicated by mass action, which as a consequence leads to concessions by the ruling classes. Demonstrations are merely one type of mass action.