Here in Australia, we run under what's commonly referred to as a democratic system. Technically, however, it's actually a democratically-elected oligarchy (oligarchy meaning "rule by the few"; notably different to aristocracy, which is "rule by the rich"). This means that everyone gets together and votes for a select group of people to act on their behalf; rather than everybody voting and discussing and having authoritative power on every decision, because that's rather hard to do in a country of any reasonable size. And the prevailing modern Westernised opinion has been that all democracy is good; anything else (for example, monarchy, autocracy, socialism, communism, etc.) is regarded as generally bad. At this point, however, I'd like to put a good ol' spanner in the works.
Recently, we've seen rather stunning evidence that national votes on important issues can lead to rather disastrous results (see: #brexit). Similar patterns - though not quite as large-scale - have been seen or predicted elsewhere, as well. It's the general idea - which isn't particularly new or strange - that while individual people can be quite smart and sensible, large groups can often display the opposite (unless the group is skewed, of course; talking here about a random selection across the population).
But then, what happens to this idea of representative democracy (which America seems to call republic, even though that's actually not quite the same)? Well, it rather falls a little short of where Western society seems to hold it up. But by the same token, we intrinsically distrust leadership by one person alone, whatever they're called - we too easily see the faults and failings in the individual. And yet, time and again, it has been the individual that has brought great change; sometimes for the better, and of course, sometimes for the worse. So the problem becomes: how do you choose the right person? Or, what does the right person even look like? Which qualities are most important? Courage? Vision? Innovation? Wisdom? Moral character? Experience? Trustworthiness? Or perhaps the old system is better: rather than trying to find these things in someone, choosing someone earlier in their years and training them in these things.
Perhaps there is no 'best' way, though; like as not, each has as many flaws and failings as the next.
What do you think? What would you like politics, or government, to look like?