I'm all for democracy (PROPER democracy) but...
Let's say there are two scientists who have developed different vaccines for a disease. Both might work, but we won't know which until they're tested on humans.
Society is offered the choice of either:
a) making a decision about which one (and only one) should be adopted as the treatment, based only on a superficial explanation given them by each scientist, and convoluted by other sources with different agendas.
b) letting the scientists make the decision themselves based on the evidence they gather, and
keeping us informed about why, and taking account of our fears on the outcome.
The decision is binding, even though we don't know which one will work best, although the chances of a positive outcome are much improved by listening to evidence-based arguments, assuming that those arguments are provided purely for the good of humanity (and they are in this case).
If a), would anyone really think themselves capable of making a genuinely informed choice about it?
Perhaps people would try to find out as much as they could about the subject, but might not really have studied and have had experience for long enough to make a detailed assessment of the issues.
Perhaps ego might get in the way? People might feel so excited about the opportunity of making such an important decision, that they pretend that they understand all the variables more than they actually do.
Or maybe they understand a small part of the argument, perhaps from a specific ideological perspective, and think that's enough, or are worried that their peers will get one over on them if they don't seem like they know what they're talking about, and are prepared to defend their point vociferously despite obfuscating perspectives from a variety of sources.
This hypothetical goes out to all sides of the argument by the way.
I'm not having a pop at anyone, just thinking about what is our best method of making socioeconomic decisions without the benefit of years of experience within government or economic theory.