De-Lurking on the Net

February 11, 2012

Anternaad ( Inner Voice) of Democracy

Filed under: Democracy — Geekay @ 10:12 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Today, I was tuned to a discussion of Margret Thatcher on BBC Radio 5. There was a woman saying that she was opposing the screening of the movie in UK. On asking why – she said – I believed I was living in Democracy until the mines I worked with were closed down by Margret Thatcher. We were chased  by the army pretending to be police with baton in their hands. All we wanted was a democratic protest but this was not allowed. So, can one tell if this country(UK) has a democracy. The radio presenter found himself miffed and he started asking back -“So which country do you think the people have a proper democracy?” The conversation ended when the woman said – “Perhaps no country does but why should one pretend to say this country has  democracy when it does not”.

This conversation and after hearing more and more  news of strangled Arab Spring in Syria, I was reflecting on democracy. It is pretty clear that everybody wants democracy around the globe but what type of democracy do we all want. Some Chinese, I communicated with recently thought that democracy is coming to China as even independent people can stand in local elections and may even go to politburo. I said, “Indeed it is good and that positive experience of Hong Kong and Taiwan will bring some changes too”. I also thought of Arab Spring victories in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. But, the democracy in these countries is not taking root. It seems the people are incapable of forming the right policies or parties, institutions etc. No wonder that Democracy has not taken root in most of the Africa, Latin America, parts of Asia. Democracy is not easy and it takes very long while for a  slick democratic setup to emerge as it has in the west but there also people remain disgruntled like that woman on radio 5. However, it is heartening to know that in Egypt at least  National Democratic Institute (NDI)  and International Republican Institute (IRI) have been working and advising the people. Perhaps they will succeed. As these two are US funded groups, it will be assumed by most countries that US will be beneficiary of good relations, if democracy takes root there. Perhaps, this is the reason that Russia and China vetoed on the issue of Syria so that US influence does not also go in the Syria as well. So, how should the world stop this bigger game going on between countries while the conflicts continuously taking lives. Of course, we have not learned from Bosnia, Kosovo, Sudan etc. I think many democratic countries under the auspices of UN should have another body which can help a new  or young democracy. The countries need guidance on electioneering, party funding, policy making by bringing transparency and eliminating corruption in procurement and expenditure. If such a body can have corps like NDI and IRI above, it will be brilliant. Many other countries can join such a body. Perhaps, such a body can eliminate the suspicion that only one or two countries will benefit by developing the good relations with the beneficiary country. Also, perhaps, it can stop the killing. Though, Syria issue would still remain out of its remit as this body’s remit could only be after the dust has settled somewhat. In Syria, the endgame is far away as UN does not have a mandate for stopping the killing so long there are Vetoes and no consensus on talks or a terminal fight.


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