Ideas from the Trenches - Too Dumb for Democracy

Producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic meet University of British Columbia student David Moscrop. He argues that modern democracy just isn't built right for our brains. and so it dooms us into dumb thinking. He's got an idea for fixing that.
(Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)

In light of the stunning election of Donald J. Trump as the next President of the United States, we revisit an episode of "Ideas from the Trenches", and the work of PhD student David Moscrop. David argues that modern democracy has a fatal flaw: we've overestimated how smart we are. We tend to make decisions by relying more on impulse and passion rather than on logic and reason. But he's got a few ideas about how democracies can compensate for our limitations. This episode was originally broadcast during the 2014 municipal election in Toronto featuring Doug and Rob Ford.

"We're motivated by our so-called 'lizard brains'.... You change the structure and the way things operate are going to change. But at the moment the incentives are all there to do things at a base level."

-- UBC PhD Candidate David Moscrop

David Moscrop is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. He's working on a book based on his PhD. 

Guests in this episode: (in order of appearance):

**This episode was produced by Nicola Luksic & Tom Howell

David Moscrop is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of British Columbia.

David Moscrop holding fort as high school prime minister back in 2002.

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