Saturday, January 28, 2006

Democracy, elections, and Unpleasant Leaders

Much has been said recently about democracy and the recent election of Hamas into the Palestinian government.

One must distinguish, however, between democracy and elections. Elections a democracy do not make. Democracy includes, fundamentally and necessarily, certain other elements such as civil rights, civil liberties, free elections, fair elections, the rule of law, due process, and check and balances: all of which buttress popular sovereignty, upon which democracy is based. It is quite safe to say that none of these elements exists in the Palestinian territories or in Iran - or, for that matter, in much of the world. So, whereas it is indeed true that Hamas and Ahmadinezhad and Vladimir Putin have been elected into office, it cannot be said that they were democratically elected, or that they were elected by vox populi, or that the states they rule are democratic.

And as prevalent, non-democratic elections are considered to be illegitimate.

So, We kindly request those speaking out against democracy (or the US's efforts to expand democracy) to remind themselves what democracy really is. Once again: elections a democracy do not make.

wa naHnu a'lamuun.


At 4:49 PM, Blogger Madfish Willie said...

That is an excellent definition for "democracy". I've been trying to define it in words myself since the Hames election to try to counter all those "How do you like Democracy now" dickheads.

I think I'll just use your definition and shove it up their nose.


At 5:54 PM, Blogger Muslihoon said...

Glad to have been of service! :-)


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