This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxHousesofParliament 2012, an independent event. Rory Stewart — a perpetual pedestrian, a diplomat, an adventurer and an author — is the member of British Parliament for Penrith and the Border.
With his spech Stewart sounds a call to action to rebuild democracy, starting with recognizing why democracy is important — not as a tool, but as an ideal
In his opinion, it is hard to reveal a true nature of a politician. He says it is something between a snake, a monkey and iguana. 400 years of democracy but something is going wrong. Population is disappointed. 10 years ago however the promise of democracy seemed to bee extraordinary. Jorge W. Bush said that democracy is a force. Democratic government respect it’s people and neighbors, freedom will bring peace. Democracy has a wide range of benefits- prosperity and security. However, the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan has shown none of those benefits. But we should not give up on the idea of democracy. People want to participate due to their interests, they want to vote, they want democracy and he gives examples and arguments for that. So, despite a horrible statistics of democracy, despite that 84% of population thinks that politics is broken democracy is a value for which we should be fighting. But we need to understand that the point of democracy is not instrumental, it is not about the things it brings. It should not guarantee peace with neighbors. Democracy matters because it reflects an idea of equality, liberty, the dignity of individual. Democracy is a state of mind, it is an activity. And a part of this activity is honesty. But it is also important what the people can do, not only the politicians. If people want politicians to be honest, they need to allow them to be honest. Government can flourish only with the energy and activity of the people. He wants to say that if democracy wants to be rebuilt it is necessary not just for the public to learn to trust their politicians but for the politicians to learn to trust the public.