The Trap

At one point Demoex endured much criticism from the other parties. Our representative asked for reconsideration of an issue despite the fact that a clear majority had voted for the proposal on the website. The question was about whether the municipality would build a McDonald’s restaurant and a Lidl store next to the high school? When two or more issues merges into one, the number of possible answers reduces. This semantic trap is a trick often seen in politics. “Do you want to stay alive and give me all your money?” If you are forced to answer yes or no, then you will make at least one bad decision.

lidl&donken

When Demoex was new so the system had some childhood deceases. Initially the option to ask for reconsideration did not exist. We could only vote yes or no. A clear majority voted in favor of the Lidl + McDonald’s trap. The debate participants had scored the for- and counterarguments. The strongest for-argument wanted a Lidl store but was reluctant to McDonald’s, and the strongest counter-argument was against McDonald’s only. The trap forced us to vote either for or against both, which did not correspond with the members intentions, as we interpreted it.

Therefore we sought to recall the case, demanding that the issues would be dealt with separately. After this departure from our principles, we proposed a motion to separate the issues on the political agenda. To bake up several issues in the same case is to cut our options and thereby to diminish our democratic power. The council finally said yes to this motion. We also changed our constitution and gave the representative the right to insist on reconsideration to avoid similar situations in future.

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