For some reason today I am reminded of the first occasion I wondered whether it was conceptually possible that democracy could deliver, not just a result I didn’t like but rather, something that surely no one with a proper view of the facts could think the best.
In 1977 a baby elephant was born in Chester Zoo and the BBC children’s television programme Blue Peter was given the task of polling popular opinion for the choice of name. It being 1977, a particular year long royal event was much in the news. As a Cub Scout, I was issued with a huge badge to be worn all that year and there was much predictable and eventually quite tedious hoo-hah even as far I, as an impressionable 12 year old, was concerned. So it was no surprise at all when the utterly witless suggestion ‘Jubilee’ topped the poll for the elephant’s name with about 90% of the votes and some random people were awarded prizes for having had just the same idea as everyone else.
I seem to recall that the third name was completely left-field. Perhaps ‘Gary’. Quite why half a dozen people thought of that I’ve no idea.