| Welcome to Global Village Space

Friday, April 12, 2024

Is democracy really the best political system?

The word democracy itself means rule by the people. A democracy is a system where people can change their rulers in a peaceful manner and the government is given the right to rule because the people say it may. In this regard, Zamir Ahmed Awan talks about democracies around the world, and how the freedom of expression and flow of information is facing strict control in leading democratic countries too.

“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.” Democracy explains and helps in maintaining law and order. Democracy helps citizens to choose their leaders to run the government.

15th of September is declared as Democracy Day and observed internationally every year regularly. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society, and individuals can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

“Let us commit to safeguarding the principles of equality, participation, and solidarity so that we can better weather the storm of future crises.” UN Secretary-General Mr. Antonio Guterres.

Read more: No democracy in Afghanistan: Taliban

No doubt the Democracy is considered one of the best political systems. After the World Wars, democracy has emerged rapidly. The US and Western Europe have become the leaders in Democracy and were cited as the best model. Their economic development was argued in the favour of Democracy. Social justice, the flow of information, etc. were also contributed to Democracy.

What were the systems before Democracy?

Few questions were raised in my mind, need to be shared with my readers like was the Kingdom and Empires all failed? Why Democracy was required? Etc.

In history, some of the Kings and emperors were excellent, outstanding, genius, kind, gentle, and wise. They loved their people and serve them in the best possible manner. Because they achieved this status based on merit, struggle, and a lot of hard work. They contributed a lot to the socio-economic development of their country. Was not that enough? But what happened, if a person, with his own capabilities, became King or empower, he served very well.

Read more: Soul searching must to revive the essence of democracy

But if one has become king or empower by inheritance, easy way, irrespective of his or her capabilities, or struggle, he or she may not take such pain and lost in luxuries of ruling people only. It was the lack of merit and incompetency, which damaged Kingdoms and empires. It was the greed, corruption, and personal desires, which damaged the Kingdoms and empires. A typical example is King Pu Yi of China, who became emperor at the age of 3 years only, after the death of his father who was emperor. Imagine, a 3 years old child can run an empire? The inheritance system damaged the meritocracy.

Current status of Democracy in the World

If we look at democratic countries, we may find many anomalies in today’s democracies. Look, Fascist Modi has won the election and ruling the largest democracy in Nazi-style. With due respect, President Trump ruled the superpower for four years, because of his money-based victory in the election. People in France are the victim of democracy and are forced to follow government dictation against their free will. In many democratic countries, authoritarianism is practiced.

There are many examples in today’s democracy where money is the only criteria for winning the election, irrespective, of while money or black money. In many developed nations, considered to be advanced countries, but the status of democracy is not satisfactory. The freedom of expression and flow of information is facing strict control in leading democratic countries too. Nothing to talk about the status of democracy in developing or underdeveloped countries.

There is a need to rectify the current democratic process, ethics, and rules may be formulated that only merit-based people should be elected. It is a time to reform the current practices and improve the system. The eroded democracy may not survive longer. If the same trends continue, the future of democracy may meet a similar end like kingdoms and empires.

Read more: Did PTI challenge democracy with the decision to ban TLP?

On the other hand, Democracy is quoted to bring prosperity and socio-economic developments to society. But, China is a model, where socio-economic deployments are achieved without democracy. The Chinese enjoy the highest purchasing power, eradicated poverty absolutely, and are one of the happiest nations on this earth. The standard of life, quality of health care, educational facilities, and state-of-the-art infrastructure were achieved without democracy.

Pakistan’s scenario

Keeping in mind the literacy rate in Pakistan, majority of our voter is ignorant. The social-economic structure of our country is based on landlords and a feudal society, where the “Wadera” influences the voters. Most of the voters have no vision or very narrow vision, they can see only drainage systems or carpeted streets in front of their houses. They are unable to decide the right candidate for being elected and represent them in the parliament.

In fact, they can judge, who can make legislation in the parliament to change the fate of this nation. Under this scenario, some of the typical Pakistani politicians exploited them and win the election and serve them twelves only. Their businesses grow rapidly, and they became rich exponentially, while the voter remain poor, the country remain poor.

Read more: Vandalism on the Capitol Hill: Food for thought for Pakistan’s democracy

I believe, Pakistan has huge potential and can prosper quickly, if we elect the right people, honest, loyal, and sincere with the country. Who can make legislations, formulate policies, and put the country on the right track? For this purpose, we need to educate our voters. The day, our voter is in a position to judge the right candidate, and vote for the right politician, the fate of our nation will be changed.

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. He can be reached at awanzamir@yahoo.com. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy