Last updated on March 18th, 2017 at 10:13 pm
“Democracy forever teases us with the contrast between its ideals and its realities, between its heroic possibilities and its sorry achievements.”
Agnes Repplier (April 1, 1855 – November 15, 1950)
A red-shirted anti-government protester lifts a bottle full of blood, collected from fellow protesters, during a mass demonstration in front of Government House in Bangkok,Thailand, on 16 March 2010. EPA/UDO WEITZ
The Queen’s land; the soil in which Princess Diana lies is battling to save face. Reports from UK’s 2010 elections have exposed the soft underbelly of the kingdom’s political system. No clear mandate to any of the clowns on show (at least in the minds of the British citizenry, no fairer Devil among them, going by the lack of a clear majority). “Inconclusive” that is what major media houses are referring these elections that took place in over 600 constituencies across the united Kingdom.
They are tired of the costly unnecessary wars of the Tony Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s of the Labor party. May be the Conservatives could make a come back after nearly a decade out of Downing Street 10? or the Liberal Democrats ? The LibDems as their pet name goes, stood no chance against the century old system crafted by their competitors.
Nick Clegg’s charisma and intelligent talk was not enough to overcome the limiting UK campaign funding regulations, which has placed a 30million cap on expenditure and banned TV advertising, and swing the votes necessary to cause the Obama effect.
Nonetheless the LibDems scored a big one.
They hold the necessary clout to confirm the leading (but lacking a House of Commons majority) as the party to lead Britain into the next Decade or likewise accept the olive branch extended by the Labor Party seeking to lead for a fourth consecutive term albeit in the more unfamiliar vehicle of a Coalition government.
Modern democracies will face difficult new challenges–fighting terrorism, adjusting to globalization, adapting to an aging society–and they will have to make their system work much better than it currently does. That means making democratic decision-making effective, reintegrating constitutional liberalism into the practice of democracy, rebuilding broken political institutions and civic associations. Perhaps most difficult of all, it requires that those with immense power in our societies embrace their responsibilities, lead, and set standards that are not only legal, but moral. Without this inner stuffing, democracy will become an empty shell, not simply inadequate but potentially dangerous, bringing with it the erosion of liberty, the manipulation of freedom, and the decay of a common life.
Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom
Last Saturday, the leading class including members of the Royal family met at a church service to commemorate British lives that were gallantly lost some 9 decades ago fighting in the first world war to protect the freedoms of their motherland. Today, Saturday 8th May 2010, the political leaders (Nick Clegg of the LibDems, Gordon Brown of the Labour party and David Cameron of the Conservatives ponder on how to secure the future of the Kingdom.
The man of the moment Nick Clegg fronts his magical quartet Tax, Education, Economic and political/ electoral reforms as the foundations of any alliances that are to be formed.
According to observers, electoral/political reforms appear to be the ultimate goal for the LibDems in any deal especially after the unfortunate reports of long queues at ballot centers that had ran out of ballot papers leading to the unthinkable in democracy as the system reliant on the people having their say, denied this very right to scores of voters who were unable to vote after being turned away.
Additionally, protests have CTWE6PWVDA3A been held demonstrating against Britain’s current system which favours the majority by awarding the set to the party with most votes and neglecting the supporters of losing candidates in favour of proportional system
Any political party that will be able to calm the seething anger across the nation over the apparent collapse of democracy, will be sure to endear itself to the voters, an important move at present times when the lack of a clear dominant force is obvious.
He is of a rare kind, one that delivers on his promises. Yesterday, as he had promised, he touched down in Nairobi. The capitals, dailies had done more than their fair share to announce his imminent arrival. Beginning way in advance and also on the material day with headlines spun one way or the other.
The reason for his arrival is clear he seeks closure on the post poll violence that rocked Kenya in early 2008 following election results that put its young democracy in a situation akin to that of its colonial master Britain.
Enter, the International Criminal Courts ICC, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.
No suspects he says, so everyone is free to come and present evidence to local personalities that had been heavily been linked to the heinous post poll crimes against humanity ranging from rape to murder.
But when he is done he promises once again, the criminality would be exposed and those responsible for financing , controlling and inciting young men into those acts would be identified and charged.
Kenya now has a coalition government after internationally brokered negotiations led to constitutional amendments that allowed for this form of governance. The country went a step further and embarked on a stalled constitutional overhaul that had been marred by problems largely borne out of political despondency.
This new quest nonetheless still faces obstacles as contention has arisen over longstanding issues touching on human rights with the church constituency in Kenya vigorously opposed to the provisions on Abortion and entrenchment of the Kadhi’s courts in the constitution.
Jonathan Goodluck, what’s in a name you might ask? but this man previously the acting president and now confirmed president, will need all the good omens that his parents may have wished him when naming him. Africa’s 3rd largest economy has been flirting with its not so glorious past.
The Northerner, former president the late Umaru Yur’Adua, represented the equation that had given this nation of 100 million plus some semblance of a democratic rule.
Elections that are set 2011 are already unsettling nerves.
For the spirit of equality to prevail, the current president Jonathan Goodluck should ideally appoint a northerner as his vice president as he is a native of the largely christian south.
Besides Yur’Adua’s presidency that ended so prematurely was in fact the “turn for the northerners to rule” according to a silent memorandum among the religiously, ethnic and economically polarized polar halves of the worlds 17th (/112 nations) ranked oil producing nation on per number of barrels per day.
By the people for the people
Maybe if Nairobi could look at London it would realize that constitution making is a continuous process that never comes to an end, it transcends as man progresses. Just maybe, the impending bull fight, greater than the recreational ones pitting champion bulls against each other that are staged in the western parts of the country as a mark of cultural identity , would be averted.
Maybe in Nairobi, Lagos can find an example. Their political situation should not be allowed to degenerate, it should be nourished by the Kenyan post poll violence scenario. As Luis Moreno Ocampo, ICC’s chief prosecutor noted at a press conference in Nairobi’s Serena hotel,
“In one an a half years there will be about 15 elections in the region. Kenya has to send a signal that when you commit crime you go to the Hague.”
Maybe London could look at Abuja and Nairobi and see the heart of the issue…that Maybe, its simply a people problem, the trouble with democracy.
Sources:-Saturday Nation a Nation Media Group publication, CNN international a Time Warner media company, Quotes- personal library.