“Elected dictatorships” and the call for democracy.
The “jasmine revolution” is a wake-up call for elected dictators.
However, some have said that ousting the government by street protests is an undemocratic act.
I do agree with this if the government was truly elected democratically in the first place. But a government elected by votes is not necessarily sanctioned by democracy.
The President of People’s Republic of China is truly elected by three thousand parliamentary representatives in the National People’s Congress. However, there are no other candidates except the one nominated by the Communist Party of China.
Myanmar’s government was “officially elected” by its people in 2010. About 75% of the seats in the House of Representatives (the lower chamber of the legislature) and House of Nationalities (the upper chamber) were contested by 40 political parties. The remaining 25% of the seats were designated for military officials, and they were selected by the military chief.
So, are these two governments democratically elected? Yes, they are, as long as you believe our former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir is a true defender of human rights.
To me, for a government to be democratically elected, not only does it have to be elected by a secret poll by all the people, the election process itself also has to be transparent and fair. The people, as of right, should participate in the election without any suppression. The freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, and the freedom of press, should be enshrined during campaigning.
Otherwise, the “election” is a screenplay directed by the dictator. The election commission, the enforcement officers, the judiciary, the candidate, and the people, are just the supporting actors in the screenplay.
And I ask those whom are uneasy with ousting a government by street protests: Can we oust an undemocratic government through a democratic election?
Hypothetically, that’s possible. But the world is still too young to witness that.
And then I ask, “Shall we oust a democratic government undemocratically?”
No, no, no. There is no need for that.
Since I am not satisfied with the performance of Lim Guan Eng as the Chief Minister, I will vote him out in the next general election. The maximum that I have to wait is 24 months. (Note: Street protests are a very physical-consuming and mentally-tiring exercise for me.)
So, my last question, “Shall we oust an undemocratic government undemocratically?”
Let us not forget, the word “democracy” means the power of the rule of the people.
If the people decide to oust the “elected-dictatorship” by exercising their basic human rights peacefully, meaning the freedom to assemble, the freedom of expression, and the freedom of speech, then, by all means.
Tunisians have made the first call, Egyptians have brought it to a higher level, and Libyans are on the way.
That’s the call for democracy!
Tun Clement, an advocate for liberalism. His “tun-ship” is granted by his daddy upon his birth. He is the de facto leader of Liberal Alliance (fictitious).