Re: WAR: appropriate first use (was: If we do get Afghanistan...)

From: Tony Martin (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 10:17:41 MST

Hello all,

I'm new to the list, though I've been lurking for a while. Though my
background is in the arts I am increasingly interested in the scientific
world view and that's why I am here.

I am strongly aware of my ignorance in scientific matters, particularly in
this company, but am keen to learn.

Anyway, I'll venture my first post:

Mike Lorrey wrote:

> back in time, the British government was democratically elected in 1812
> when it engaged in war with the democratically elected US government.

Whilst it's true that the British government was democratically elected in
1812, it is worth bearing in mind that roughly fewer than 1 in 5 males could
vote then and some of the constituencies (rotten boroughs) had very small
voting populations; Old Sarum had a total of 7 voters!

Throughout the 19c, the franchise was extended with 3 Reform Acts (1832,
1867 and 1884), but it wasn't till 1928 that women got voting on a par with

To call a government a democracy when more than 50% of the adult population
can't vote is stretching the term beyond recognisability.

As far as I remember, before the 20c the word democrat was often employed as
a term of abuse rather like "commie" is today.

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