By: Roman Krznaric
Published: BBC, 19 March 2019, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190318-can-we-reinvent-democracy-for-the-long-term
Level of difficulty:***
BEFORE YOU READ
· Short term thinking is creating long term problems https://www.smh.com.au/national/short-term-thinking-is-creating-long-term-problems-20181107-p50egn.html
· The problem of “short termism” in Western democracies
1. Start reading the text. Where does the introduction end? Now answer the questions.
· What unrealistic expectation Hume entertained(had) proved to be wrong?
· We can understand from the comparison of the man on the street and politicians that the two groups think along radically different lines/ think along different lines/ think along similar lines/ think along identical lines.
2. Continue reading. Where does the second section end? What subtitle would you give this section? Now answer the questions.
· What is this section going to be about?
· Why is the political business cycle described as myopic?
· The NRA (The National Rifle Association) spends a lot on lobbying to protect current gun laws in the US. We can describe the activities of this group as an effort to…
· What does “It” refer to in the phrase “It’s a blind spot”? Be precise.
· Write the following sentence out in full eliminating the referral and making it more formal: “But that is the reality.”
3. Continue reading. Where does the next section end? What subtitle would you give this section? Now answer the questions.
· Treating the future as tempus nullius is unethical because we are, in fact, …
· Where in the paragraph beginning “Some suggest…” would you place the following: because he would be unaffected by lobbying or being re-elected.?
· The case of Sweden has been included in the paragraph to support the contention that…
· Finland and Wales are both examples of places which …
· The major concern with regard to the above projects and ones like them is the fact that…
· Watch the following https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fivQUlC7-8. What David Suzuki is proposing is essentially what the Athenians called…… Why would legislators in such a system be more effective in taking a long term view? Use your own words.
4. Continue reading to the end. What subtitle would you give this section? Now answer the questions.
· What surprising observation was made at the end of the research conducted by Tatsuyoshi Saijo and his team?
· Watch the following: https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/ What is unique about this organization?
· Refer to the previous question. What gives these people the right to file such a law suit? Use your own words.
· We will be forced to stop disregarding the rights of our grandchildren and great grandchildren due to…
· The writer feels we are perfectly justified in believing in a form of democracy that empowers future generations because…
Read the following short text: If I ruled the world: Martin Reese https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/if-i-ruled-the-world-martin-rees. Now write an essay in which you discuss to what extent you agree with his ideas.
Refer back to the second video provided at the beginning of the task. Write an essay discussing to what extent you agree with the suggestions the speaker makes.
WHY WE NEED TO REINVENT DEMOCRACY FOR THE LONG-TERM; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This text is based on a unique opinion: future generations should also be considered when making decisions that will impact them. So far, the rights of future generations have been completely ignored but as the text points out, a gradual shift has started and may well end up being the silver bullet against climate change. The questions are a mixture of text explicit and text implicit questions with the majority taking the latter form.
1. At the end of paragraph three./ The institutions of government (such as political representatives and parliamentary debates) would serve to temper our impulsive and selfish desires, and foster society’s long-term interests and welfare. /Think along similar lines
2. It ends with the phrase “…render them voiceless and airbrush their futures out of the political picture.”/ Possible title: The causes of short-termism/ the roots of the fixation on the now/ Because it ignores long-term issues (out of which they can make little immediate political capital)/ Secure near-term benefits for themselves (while passing the longer-term costs onto the rest of society)/ the fact that the citizens of tomorrow are granted no rights/ The reality is that future generations are disenfranchised in the same way that slaves or women were in the past
3. It ends with the phrase “…politicians obsessed with the next election. / Possible subtitle: How Not To Colonize the Future / Colonising the future (This is the shortest answer but the following sentence will do too. Start “Treating…”) / After “safely” /Democracies have a better record on long-term thinking and planning than authoritarian regimes / have already embarked on pioneering experiments to empower the citizens of the future /They are too reformist and do little to alter the structure of democratic government at a fundamental level/Sortition, possible answer: they would not be elected, they would not need to worry about getting re-elected, they would not have political concerns /
4. Possible subtitle: Is it possible? /The future residents devise far more radical and progressive city plans compared to current ones. / the plaintiffs are in their teens or early 20s/Possible answer: they are fighting for their own future (they are children at the moment)/ the twin threats of ecological collapse and technological risk/ Democracy has taken many forms and been reinvented many times