Is responding to a pandemic not exactly the sort of of nation-wide public policy decisions politicians are elected to make?
They can make recommendations all they like. But as soon as they put the force of law behind their recommendations, they are on shifting sand.
I think you can make the case that a political leader ought to be able to declare a state of emergency, and they have. But the people never lose the right to take that decision to court. If the court decides that the *data* justifies the state of emergency, then it stays.
For a season, because the people are also dealing with an economic threat, not just a health threat. And if the people perceive that the economic threat is greater than the health threat….out come the pitchforks.
I would also throw into the pot the notion that politicians are the voices of the people in a liberal democracy… ‘Making your own decision’ would be to vote them out at your next opportunity.
True, ideally. But as alluded to above, there is a time element involved.
Unless your conception of ‘liberal democracy’ is better described as some manifestation of an anti-federalist-free-from-all-government viewpoint. Understandable, I suppose.
No, but I never assume that an elected official knows more about what I need than I do. They have a responsibility to defend a jurisdiction with a population; I have responsibility to my nuclear family unit. If a tangible number of citizens feel that the elected official is making decisions that are not in their best interests, again, out come the pitchforks.
We do not in this country, “vote and then shut up”. Never have.
Liberal democracy protects your individual rights — but rights such as ‘going outside when you like’ and ‘standing close to people’ are not absolute rights I’m afraid.
I would agree that they are not enumerated explicitly, but if jurisdictions attempt to claim they have a constitutional right to lock you in your home, you may as well forget about having a country. It fractures at that point.