05 December 2006

The West Dislikes Democracy

(First posted early 2006)

The misgivings coming universally from
the leaders of the West in the wake of Hamas'
spectacular election victory reveals -yet again-
that what the West is promoting in the world
is not democracy.
The West does not even really like democracy,
it only likes it when it likes the results, proving
that its own narrow interests and "values" are
all it cares about.

Where were the protests from the West in late
1991 when the government of Algeria, prodded
by the military, cancelled the elections a day or
two before they were due to be held when it
was clear that the FIS (Islamic Salvation Front,
similar to Hamas and Hizbollah) would win a
landslide victory?
Not a squeak from anyone, as far as I remember.
The unspoken clear message was:
"So long as the oil and gas keep flowing in our
direction at low prices we do not give a damn
what kind of government you have, so long
as it is not Islamist".

What followed was a brutal shadowy low-level
civil war with opposing groups trying to outdo
each other in savagery, over the 10 years it
lasted an estimated 100,000 people died,
mostly horribly. Maybe, just maybe, most or
all of that could have been avoided if the West
collectively had exhorted the government to
let the elections go ahead, who knows.

When in early 2000 the Austrian Freedom Party
under its populist leader Jorg Haider won enough
seats to become a coalition partner in the
government, the EU reacted quite hysterically:
Austria was "quarantained" with severe
restrictions on who could meet whom and
when and where, or even prohibitions.

Anyone who truly believes in democracy
would agree that we would be entitled to ask
2 questions, and 2 questions only, about those
elections, namely:
Were they free? And were they fair?
And, being Austria, we already know the
answers: Yes and Yes.
End of story - or so it should be and would
have been if democracy alone was the goal.

Where were the howls of protest when, in the
80s, the communist parties in France and Italy
gained enough seats to join those governments?
I recall only one voice of warning:
That of Ronald Reagan.

A similar hysterical reaction by the EU and
Germany followed when the German right-wing
party the NPD won a seat or two in local elections.
So what? Germany has been trying all kinds of
devious ways to have the party banned outright.
Why? The more different and wide-spread
opinions we can keep inside the political process,
the lower is the risk of violent confrontations.
If you prevent people from expressing
themselves politically through participating
in democratic elections at whatever level of
government, you encourage and eventually
force those people to express themselves
outside politics, that is totally obvious and
a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But that also requires all democratic forces to
accept the results of those elections and accept
them unreservedly whether they like them or
not. In that respect the collective EU and its
individual member states are sadly lacking.

For the comical touch but still relevant - when
Tony Blair first led his New Labour Party into the
election campaign, Labour had "women only"
shortlists in a number of constituencies.
As I understand it, Tony Blair did not particularly
like the concept himself but allowed it to happen,
maybe it had been promised or whatever.
Can you imagine anything more undemocratic
than single-gender shortlists?
Absolutely ludicrous.
In any other sphere of life it would be illegal
because it is in breach of x number of laws and
conventions about such lofty subjects as human
rights but, apparently, politics are exempt from
such trivial considerations.

How many times has America thwarted the
democratic majority will of the United Nations
Security Council by using its right of veto,
usually to protect Israel in its latest illegal
and barbaric venture?
The single biggest improvement that could
be made to the UN, and it could be done so
swiftly and easily, would be to abolish that
right of veto but of course it will not happen:
America, as ever obeying its Jewish masters,
would promptly veto such a logical and decent
move to democracy!

The European Union should also immediately,
at all levels of decision making, abolish the right
of veto. It is grotesque that a small EU member
state like Denmark with a population of only
5.3 million can block any important legislation it
does not like with conceivably all the rest of the
455 million in favour.
Whatever it is, it is not democratic.
Luxembourg with a population of just 0.3 million
could theoretically do the same but is too
responsible to even consider it.

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