Must Democratic Leaders Necessarily be Hypocrites?

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Title Must Democratic Leaders Necessarily be Hypocrites?
Author Kane, John
Publication Title Australasian Political Studies Association Conference (APSA) 2005
Editor Julie Wilson
Year Published 2005
Place of publication Dunedin, NZ
Publisher Australasian Political Studies Association
Abstract Democratic openness fosters truth-telling as a public value rather than secrecy or double-dealing. Yet democracies typically distrust their political leaders, having a tendency to regard them as shifty with regard to motives and slippery with regard to morals. Valuing truth and honesty in government, democrats too often suspect they are being dealt lies and half-truths. Yet there are some lies that democrats will tolerate from their leaders and others they will not. This paper will argue that the tensions produced in democratic leadership by the fact (rather than the fiction) of popular sovereignty explains both the tendency toward leadership hypocrisy and the manner in which democrats distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable lies. In democracies, rather than the people fearing the ruler, rulers must fear the people who can ultimately displace them. As always in situations of authority, the awed leader must often tell the sovereign what it wants to hear rather than the unpalatable truth, producing a perennial temptation toward hypocrisy. Similarly, the lies that democrats really care about are those whose tendency or intention is to usurp or undermine their sovereignty.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.auspsa.org.au/
Conference name Australasian Political Studies Association Conference 2005
Location University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ
Date From 2005-09-28
Date To 2005-09-30
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/2747
Date Accessioned 2006-03-17
Date Available 2009-11-05T06:02:45Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Governance and Public Policy
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject PRE2009-Political Theory and Political Philosophy
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1

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