In Making the Social World, John R. Searle writes,
If we assume that democracies are defined in part by majority rule as expressed in elections, then another feature of successful stable democracies is that few, if any, of the important problems of life are determined by elections. Such questions as who will live and who will die, who will be rich and who will be poor, cannot be decided by elections if the country is to be stable. Why not? Elections are too unpredictable for people to be able to plan and live their lives based on the outcome of elections. If you knew that if your opponents won the next election, you were likely to be thrown into a concentration camp, or executed, or have all your property confiscated, you could not make stable and enduring life plans. In successful democracies, it does not matter who gets elected. . .I have noticed that life pretty much goes on after the election as it did before, regardless of who gets elected.
1. It is of course in the interest of political activists and journalists to argue otherwise–that “this is the most important election in history,” that the wrong choice will lead to disaster, etc. Their warnings typically do not turn out to be valid, although some day that could change.
2. This is an argument for keeping the stakes in politics low, and thus the argument tends to weigh in on the libertarian side of things. However, I doubt that those who favor activist government will think much of the point that “elections are too unpredictable.”