Últimas notícias

Colunistas

RSS
Democracy is a two-edged sword

Roberto Henry Ebelt

13.08.2010

Democracy is a two-edged sword

Whenever I say that, people look at me in a very strange way. We all know there are too many loopholes* in the legislation that supports our democracy. We, the victims of such loopholes, still have to strive a lot to achieve a reasonable level of democracy.

LOOPHOLE: (noun) aperture, narrow hole or opening in a wall (especially one through which weapons may be fired); means of escape; ambiguous clause in a contract or law by which responsibility may be evaded.
HOLE: (noun) opening, gap; cavity, hollow; burrow, den; pothole; prison cell; dingy dirty place (in Portuguese: buraco).

One of our main problems, in respect to democracy, is that illiterate and ignorant people are not encouraged, by the majority of the elected ones, to become better citizens in respect to their education. Before 1988, you had to prove that you were able to read and write in order to qualify as a voter. Instead of passing a tougher legislation in respect to proving such capacities, our "enlightened" congressional representatives, wrote a "new" constitution that allows illiterate persons to vote. Can you believe that? I must confess that I was deeply disappointed with those most irresponsible constituents who produced a true patchwork instead of a respectable, modern constitution.

To start with, it is, definitely, a very bad idea to force a person to do something that in civilized countries is a privilege, namely, to vote. In order to exert the privilege of voting, we are forced by law to fulfill an obligation. I repeat, voting should be a privilege, not an obligation.
Second, instead of promoting the right to elect the representatives of the Brazilian citizens, to the status of a very special privilege, "our men in the Central Plateau paradise" removed the barriers to qualify a citizen to vote. According the falsely named CONSTITUTION OF THE CITIZEN, illiterate and, therefore, ignorant persons, and inmates of our penitentiaries suddenly became eligible to exert the privilege to elect our representatives.
This is not good. This is not right.
Were our congressional representatives so naïve to the point of having approved such points or were they just trying to profit from such misdemeanor?
Why didn't they make a serious effort to improve the education and quality of the Brazilian electorate?
Were they afraid of a more enlightened public?
If I had to answer such question, I would certainly opt for the second answer.

Now take the time to read the following true stories, keeping in mind that YOU VOTE, but THEY ALSO VOTE.

A person bought a new refrigerator and, in order to get rid of the old one, he put it in front of his house with a note saying: FOR FREE – IF YOU WANT, YOU CAN TAKE IT.
The old refrigerator remained in front of his house for three days. Nobody got interested in the old device.
The owner concluded that people did not believe in the text of his note, perhaps because it might sound too good to be true. So he changed the text of the note to the following:
REFRIGERATOR FOR SALE FOR 50 REAIS.
In the following morning, he noticed that the old refrigerator had been stolen. NOW REMEMBER THAT THIS KIND OF PERSON (the thief) IS NOT ONLY ALLOWED TO VOTE; HE/SHE IS OBLIGED BY LAW TO VOTE.
Here is another episode for you, dear reader, to take in consideration:

A man was looking for a house to rent. After visiting one of the several houses he intended to look at, he asked the real estate broker which side of the house faced North, in order to check whether the positioning of the bedrooms were convenient for him, and also because he did not want to be awaken by the sun in the morning, during the summer. The real estate broker, seemingly very surprised, asked him back:
- Does the sun rise in the North?
The man, then, stopped to explain her that the sun, so far, had always risen in the East.
The real estate broker's remark: "It is hard for me to keep updated in respect to such things".
NOW REMEMBER THAT THIS KIND OF PERSON (a totally ignorant person) IS NOT ONLY ALLOWED TO VOTE; HE/SHE IS COMPELLED BY LAW TO VOTE.

Another episode that makes you think about the reason why most of our politicians, elected by Brazilians to represent us in the Paradise Island named Brasilia, have the so questionable behaviors that we read about in the newspapers every single day of our lives:

A man used to work in the technical support department of a Company located in Manaus.
One day he got a phone call from a client who asked him what the schedule of that department was.
Our man answered 24/7 (meaning 24 hours a day, seven days per week).
The client then asked him whether he meant Manaus time or Brasilia time.
In order to avoid an argument*, our man answered Brasilia time.
REMEMBER THAT THIS KIND OF PERSON - THE CLIENT - (a partially ignorant person) IS NOT ONLY ALLOWED TO VOTE; HE/SHE IS COMPELLED BY LAW TO VOTE.
Do you understand why we should not expect very much from the people we are compelled by law, to elect as our representatives, in Paradise Island?

Vocabulary: the word ARGUMENT has two different meanings: briga verbal e argumento (in Brazilian Portuguese).

Now relax and try to have a restful weekend. God bless our country.


Tags: Roberto Henry Ebelt, inglês


Roberto Henry Ebelt é professor, escritor, escreveu uma coluna semanal para o Jornal do Comércio de Porto Alegre entre 2001 e 2013, e é diretor do curso HENRY'S BUSINESS ENGLISH desde 1971.

Seu mais recente livro, O QUE VOCÊ DEVE SABER ANTES DE ESTUDAR INGLÊS, pode ser encontrado nas livrarias Disal, Cultura e SBS ou à rua Hoffmann, 728 em Porto Alegre.

E-mail: roberto@henrys.com.br
Fone (51) 3222-3144
www.henrys.com.br
Página no Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henrysbusinessnglish/?pnref=lhc




Opinião do internauta

Deixe sua opinião

Comemoramos hoje - 24.02

  • Dia da conquista do Voto feminino no Brasil
  • Dia de São Sérgio
  • Promulgação da 1ª Constituição Republicana (1891)