As I've said before, there's a strong argument to be made for requiring voters to pass a basic IQ and general knowledge test before letting them go anywhere near a polling booth.
But the truth is that politicians don't have much power anyway. They're basically there to pay lip service to democracy, while important policy decisions are made behind the scenes by multinational corporations, the arms industry and the banks. Barack Obama's entire cabinet was selected by Citigroup weeks before he was elected. Donald Trump's main backer was billionaire Zionist Sheldon Adelson, who now dictates US policy on matters related to Israel.
When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western democracy, he replied that he thought it would be a good idea. He was right, of course. The real power doesn't lie in the hands of the electorate, but in the hands of an elite clique of powerful industrialists, media moguls, weapons manufacturers and financial institutions. They dictate government policies, and the job of elected government ministers and presidents is to justify those policies to the public.
Thus, for example, no American president is ever going to tell the American people that US forces invaded a foreign country to seize control of an oil pipeline, or to facilitate Israel's expansion of power in the Middle East. Instead, the invasion will be sold to the public, via the compliant media, as a mission of mercy to rescue the people of the country in question from an evil dictator. Or to "restore democracy". Or some other balonious justification - babies being thrown out of incubators, for example - that Americans can "get behind".
Those are the kinds of fairy tales people want to hear. They don't want to be burdened with sordid facts.
On TV discussions about WW2, Americans often ask: "How could they (the German people) not have known about the concentration camps?"
The answer, of course, is that people only see what's in their own interests to see. How many Americans know, or want to know, that the US has invaded twice as many countries, and killed more people, than the Nazis? How many Americans know, or want to know, that the US is currently bombing seven countries that pose no threat whatsoever to America?
Elections are largely irrelevant. No matter who wins, the important policies will continue to be decided by entities that stay hidden behind the scenes. The supposedly opposing parties will pursue identical policies when they get elected, regardless of their campaign pledges. The elections themselves are nothing more than a distraction; a Punch and Judy show to entertain the children.
In Ireland, the choice is between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb; and if the two main parties don't get enough votes separately, they join forces and become Tweedle Diddle, with one pretending to be the opposition. The most important thing is to stay in power.
I have always found it fascinating the way a slow-moving python is able to trap a nimble, fast-moving mouse. You'd think, wouldn't you, that the mouse would have no trouble getting away? And that even if caught, it would be able to wriggle and squirm its way out of the snake's stranglehold. And yet mice have been lulled into this false sense of security by pythons for millions of years.
Stealth is the key. The python closes in slowly and imperceptibly. The mouse doesn't see the danger until it's too late.
This is how I see the EU, which encircled the countries of Europe by degrees, tightening its grip so gradually and insidiously that, even now, most of Europe's citizens have no real appreciation of how much power they have handed over to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who exist to serve the interests of the banks, and specifically the privately-owned Federal Reserve.
The Brits should have known that once you join the Cosa Nos - oops! I mean the European Union - there's no getting out of it. Nobody gets out of the EU alive. It's the political equivalent of the Hotel California: you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
And if you did leave, were would you go? When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, plantation owners across America told their black slaves that they were free to go. "Go where?" most of the slaves replied. Because, of course, they were dependent on their slavemasters for food, shelter and just about everything else.
Freedom can only be measured in relation to the options that are available.
And the same goes for democracy.
The people of Denmark voted against the Maastricht Treaty. The people of Ireland rejected both the Nice and the Maastricht Treaties. In each case the issue was resolved with a few not-so-veiled threats and a second referendum.
But Brits, still believers in the quaint and antiquated notion that, once the people have spoken, they shouldn't be asked to second-guess themselves - that would make a nonsense of democracy, wouldn't it? - can't get their heads around the fact that, even in Britain, democracy is an illusion, and that they really don't have a choice.
Now they're discovering - too late! - just how insidious and powerful a grip the Euromonster has over them.
If you stay there will be trouble. If you go it will be double...
At least the Irish were savvy enough to realise that they were on a hiding to nothing by resisting the ambitions of the EU dictatorship. They've had centuries of practice at being oppresssed, owned and subservient to multiple masters simultaneously.
But now we can all see what happens when one of the prisoners makes a break for it. All hell breaks loose. He makes it as far as the perimeter fence, tries to climb over, but gets snagged in the razor wire. And the voice behind him says: "Were you thinking of going somewhere?"
Western democracy is an illusion. The US and the EU are both dictatorships with systems geared to transfer wealth from the bottom to the top, and keep power in the hands of the privileged, self-anointed few.
I remember a discussion I had with two American documentary film makers I met in London years ago. They had just finished making a documentary in Moscow, and they couldn't get over the fact that they were followed and surveilled everywhere they went by KGB agents. This was proof to them of Russian totalitarianism.
I said: "What do you think would happen if a Russian camera crew arrived in the US and started filming in the middle of New York? Do you imagine for one minute that they wouldn't be watched by the police, the FBI or the CIA?"
"Well, maybe," one of them conceded. "But that's not a valid comparison, is it?"
"Why not?" I asked.
"Well, for one thing, " he replied, "America is a democracy."