Funny and serious

As British writer, wit and actor Stephen Fry once said, ‘It is easy to forget that the most important aspect of comedy, after all, its great saving grace, is its ambiguity. You can simultaneously laugh at a situation and take it seriously’.

Lyricist W. S. Gilbert:

I always voted at my party’s call,

And I never thought of thinking for myself at all

US TV talkshow host Johnny Carson:

“Only lie about the future.” – giving advice to politicians

Unlike communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties…

US journalist, satirist, H. L. Mencken:

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.

Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -and both commonly succeed, and are right.

US author and playwright Joseph Heller (in Catch 22):

There was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to.

US journalist Sydney J. Harris:

Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be.

English Author George Orwell (in Nineteen Eighty Four):

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

Welsh born mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell:

The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.

US critic and commentator Alexander Woolcott:

I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work.  Of course it doesn’t work.  We are supposed to work it.

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