The Arabs figured out that the best way to deal with politics is to eliminate it altogether. But other countries–Brazil, France, Turkey, and America–still have their elections and referendums, along with the usual fanfare that goes along with it. America at least got it half-right and does not have referendums–and the Electoral College, which in addition to limiting the power of the majority, lessens the likelihood of elections being too close to call (and makes the recount process much easier).
Referendums and elections–in all countries–tend to be very close, which means without some sort of deciding body, lengthy recounts and other problems are inevitable unless the vote is lopsided (which it almost never is). Referendums are almost always a tie because people don’t know what they want–they just see two options on a piece of paper, so by statistical chance the result is almost always 50-50, and also both sides make appealing arguments that easily sway the uninformed.
The French elections, held on Sunday, April 23rd, use a run-off system, meaning if no single candidate gets a majority (>50%), the two candidates with the most number of votes proceed to a second round of voting. As mentioned above, referendums and national elections always tend to be very close, and this is no exception: The French Election Is Way Too Close To Call. Even 538, a liberal publication, is calling democracy a ‘mess’.
What will happen if after the first round, the results go something like this: Macron gets 25%, Le Penn gets 20%, Mélenchon gets 20%, Fillon gets 20%, and the rest get the remaining 15%. Macron goes to the next round, but who is chosen a his opponent if the others are tied at 20%? That means a recount will need to be done, which means the election– between the recounts and multiple rounds of voting–may take months to complete. The whole thing is just extremely inefficient.
Another reason why politics and elections are bad is because they hold the world hostage as everyone awaits the outcome–business slows, stock market volatility rises…everything kinda grinds to a halt until the outcome is rendered. And then, after the votes are counted, it creates a sudden disruption if the outcome is unexpected and or inauspicious, due to the transition of power. A close election is the worst, because no side can claim legitimacy, and the result is yet again more uncertainty until the issue is sorted out, which can take months.
Even an inept king is better than a revolving door of bad politicians. Elections create a needless disruption just as the system is beginning to adapt to the existing regime, and then rips it from it slumber and throws it into the storm of politics and uncertainty. And also the fact most politicians have an incentive to be corrupt. Just look at the history of South America and Southern Europe to get an idea of how corrupt democracies are. From 538, regarding the French election:
Fillon, though, became the center of a scandal in which he was accused of using public funds to pay his wife and adult children for fictitious jobs.