I'm not so sure I would write off the voters' capacity for rational, autonomous thinking too readily, although the force that drives us politically, that make us progressive or conservative, is certainly not reason. In any case, one point where I agree completely with the young Mr. Moscrop is with his strong support for “deliberative” democracy, i.e. providing opportunities for citizens of all political views to gather, discuss and debate issues, and using the results to influence politicians and educate other citizens.
When citizens act as a community, rather than as isolated individuals, they are much more likely to support rational policies and indeed more democratic ones. That is why I have long advocated for citizen assemblies. Randomly selected groups of citizens can represent a town, province or nation in microcosm, bringing together a full range of views. Released from the grip of party loyalty and its tribal instincts, and from manipulative media, they are free to deal with their fellow participants on an equal, open, intimate and informal basis, more willing to allow the heartfelt views of others to influence their own. Provided with comprehensive packages of information and access to experts, such assemblies can produce policies underlain by passion but ultimately determined by reason and compromise.
We are smart enough to do democracy, but we need better structures than we have now, structures that allow for well-informed citizens deliberating equally as members of a community.