Democracy no longer needed to be something that only occurred only once every four years on election day; users on the Chirper network could freely interact with political issues twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and they no longer needed politicians to represent them.
The council was unnerved. It had already spent millions on town planning that prioritised impersonal, widely-dispersed concrete conurbations, which discouraged people from leaving their homes and mingling on the streets where they could share potentially dangerous ideas. Chirper bypassed this plan and permitted mass democratic interaction on an unforeseen scale.
When a Chirping campaign snowballed, pressuring the council to reduce the dose of truth drugs in the water supply, the council had enough and closed down Chirper. They couldn't control it.
The council warned that democracy could collapse if average and below-average people were permitted to "exploit it willy-nilly for the benefit of themselves and others". "Democracy", a council spokesman said, "can only work if it is protected from the whims of the people. Democracy can only be preserved if it is governed by self-appointed leaders who decide when and how it should be applied. It should therefore be subject to cuts. For this reason, and for the good of society, we propose that the next general election be postponed for at least 16 years."
Below is a Democracy Rationing public information poster from 1970.