If it’s good enough for choosing the people who run the country and
influence our jobs, education, health care, mortgages and retirement income, it
ought to be good enough for choosing your next meal.
Hello and welcome to the Democracy Cafe. Would you like the meatloaf or the vegetable lasagna?
Could we see a menu?
Oh, we don’t have menus. Our lunch customers vote on a list of entrees and we offer the two most popular choices for dinner.
Meatloaf was the most popular?
Yes. It got 13 votes.
How many people usually eat lunch here?
Meatloaf is popular because it got 13 votes out of 120?
Of course. Not all our customers want to vote. Today, 65 customers participated in our dinner primary. That’s over half. You’re lucky. Most days only 20-30% vote.
But still, how does 13 out of 65 votes make meatloaf popular? That’s only 20% of the votes. How many votes did the lasagna get?
So meatloaf and lasagna combined got a total of 23 votes out of 65? Almost 2/3 of the people who voted selected something else. How does that make anything popular?
That’s democracy. You’re not a socialist are you?
We try to avoid red meat and high-calorie foods. We heard this place makes terrific roasted chicken. Does democracy mean we have to order something we don’t like?
Consider the advantages. You only have two selections to evaluate. I can tell you where the vegetables were grown, how they were fertilized, when the cow was killed and even its name. Let’s keep this simple. You mentioned you try to avoid red meat and high-calorie foods. Which do you avoid most?
What we avoid most is restaurants that won’t let us order something we like. Goodbye!
What about my tip?
A few days later, our intrepid diners decided to try lunch at the Democracy Cafe.
Hello and welcome to the Democracy Cafe. What would you like?
It’s nice to see so many options. We’ll have the chicken mole.
Excellent choice. Your food will be ready soon.
They were soon served large plates of shrimp scampi.
We ordered chicken mole!
I know. We’re very sorry but we just ran out of chicken.
I understand these things happen, but we’d like to see the menu again and order something else. I’m allergic to seafood.
Perhaps you don’t understand democracy. There are no second choices. If your original selection isn’t available, you’ll get the dish selected most often by the other customers. You can still eat the vegetables and pasta.
If I eat anything that touched the shrimp, I could die!
In that case, you’ll just have to return another time and try again. Will this be cash or charge?
Send the bill to my lawyer! Goodbye!
What about my tip?
If it’s not good enough for choosing your next meal, why is it OK for choosing the people who run the country and
influence our jobs, education, health care, mortgages and retirement income?