Do elections benefit democracy? David van Reybrouck

David van Reybrouck is a Flemish Belgian author known for the book “The Plague” (De Plaag). A cross between a travelogue and a literary whodunnit set in post-apartheid South Africa.

His name is back on the table after releasing his brand new provocative book “Against Elections: The Case for Democracy“. This book is a direct reaction to #Brexit, Trump’s victory, Marine Le Pen, etc.

Fear-mongering populists, distrust in the establishment, personality contests instead of reasoned debate: these are the results of the latest elections. In fact, as this ingenious book shows, the original purpose of elections was to exclude the people from power by appointing an elite to govern over them.

“Democratic Fatigue Syndrome is a disorder that has not yet been fully described but from which countless western societies are nonetheless unmistakably suffering.” he says. He considers that we are living dangerous times where while a political interest is growing among citizens at the same time faith (or “hope” to quote Obama) is declining.

“Elections are the fossil fuel of politics. Whereas once they gave democracy a huge boost, much like the boost oil gave the economy, it now turns out they cause colossal problems of their own.”