Haikai: To each according to his needs

This tanka is for Frank Tassone’s weekly haikai challenge. This week the prompt is about elections or democracy. I’ve lost my grip on the meaning of democracy, since if the majority of voters turn out to be cruel, ugly-minded bigots (and we’re seeing it happen), I would probably wish for a system that didn’t give morons an equal say with nice people like me.  I know, it’s the best idea we’ve come up with so far. Let’s just keep thinking, can we? Maybe a bit of fine tuning?


Birds flock, huddle

against the cold, sharing warmth

rabbit and fox share

the same earth shelters both—

and our humanity?


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

30 thoughts on “Haikai: To each according to his needs”

  1. Perhaps the problem is not the democracy itself but in the media that manipulates and fuels the mass amount of information and lies and confusion that is out there, which in turns fuels the darkest parts of humanity.

    1. I’m in two minds about the power of the ‘wrong’ media in countries with liberty of expression. People tend to choose the news they want to hear. It doesn’t matter of it’s debunked by a more reputable source, if they want to believe bare-faced lies they will.

  2. Your post shares the cry of many who would like to see a more civil way to govern and choose representatives. After all, we all share the planet as you have said very well!

    1. The whole process seems so remote from reality. To be a representative you have to be rich. Where does that leave the poor? The moment you make wealth a sine qua non of ruling, you exclude the majority before a single vote is cast.

    1. The Oracle would put them straight if they listened. But I tend to think that people close their information. Unless there is press censorship, the truth is always out there. You have to want to know the truth though, and not to prefer the lies.

  3. Great, Jane! I fully agree with you, but as said not the democracy, the missunderstanding of it seems to be the problem. We should never more think our politicans are only serving. They are individuals and most of them are self-centered. Michael

    1. I understand the original idea behind paying representatives was to enable ordinary men who actually had to work for a living to be able to serve. That she should be paid a fortune to be ‘public servants’ was never in the deal.

      1. Well, that’s a description I find myself using often. I am so sick of hearing the refrain ‘If we don’t pay top rates we won’t get the best people.’ It goes for everything, but especially for all those jobs that supposedly the vocational jobs that people do because they ‘care’ like teachers, doctors, dare I say it, politicians.

  4. Your comments and tanka have stirred up an interesting discussion. I think it’s bizarre how rich people have to be to afford running for office. Also if we valued the health of our democracies more perhaps there would be more education about how to decipher media, critical thinking etc.

    1. The political systems the world over need a shake up. It’s no democracy if it’s exclusive. Our representatives, the ministers anyway, all come from politician school. You go to politician school if you’re from the right background. You learn how to be a politician and nothing else, and it becomes your job for life, elected or not, the party will find something lucrative for you to do. The country is run by the same kind of people who run supermarket empires.

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