Procedural democracy may seem imperfect and frustrating sometimes - by "sometimes", I mean when we disagree with the result - but it's one of the brightest and best ideas human beings have had. It's flawed and imperfect but it's our only hope, so I went in search this week of good stories to tell about it.
An episode of Radiolab pointed me to India, the world's largest democracy. At the last elections more than 800-million Indians voted at more than 930000 polling stations, overseen by more than 11-million police officers. The electoral commission of India demands that no voter be required to travel more than 2km to vote, which creates a particular situation for a certain Guru Bharatdas Darshandas, who lives and works as caretaker in the lonely temple of Shiva, deep in the snake-infested Gir jungle in the westerly state of Gujarat.
The jungle of Gir is lovely, dark and deep, covering more than 1400km squared, and it's the last known refuge for the Asiatic lion. There are more than 500 of them prowling the green shadows, yellow-eyed and hot-breathed like half a thousand four-footed Shivas, god of destruction, stalking wild boar and chital and chousingha, the only four-horned deer in the world.