My bit for The World Policy Journal

The Big Question: What is the biggest threat to democracy?

In an absolute monarchy such as ours, political awareness, never mind democracy, is hard to come by. Democracy as a form of government is a completely foreign concept. This lack of awareness and experience among the people has been used by academics, political analysts, and even the people themselves to postpone the inevitable. “Saudi people are not ready for democracy,” is heard practically everywhere. Throughout history, few nations have eased into democracy, but sooner or later, the people will rise up and demand it. Read on.

40 Comments

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40 responses to “My bit for The World Policy Journal

  1. Moto

    I feel to explain the concept of democracy, because I don’t unaderstand it’s concept exactly. Sometimes, I have such a question that Europe and the U.S. are democratic countries. I think each country loves theirs. Even if EU and U.S. are obey their profits. I feel there are no contories without concern their profit, money,power, and so on. Because of these background, they want to have a big miritaly,navy,air-force. They want to have nuclear-power. I sometimes feel that we,humanbeing,cannot understand the concept of democracy. I won’t be able to recognize which country is true democratic one,eternally.

    • anna

      no country on earrth is democratic!
      we are living in a oligarchy.
      the idea of democracy is that the power belongs to the people.
      However, there are too many people in a country.
      (that is also a factor why jesus and also rousseau have said people should live in a community and not in a society) so the people have to elect represents of their own thoughts or have got the ability to become a politician by themself.
      these represents are constituting the government and fighting for their own ideas!
      so nice so good just there is a government people can elect or can become a politician even by themself doesnt proof it’s a democracy!
      because democracy means the power to the people!
      so another condition is that the parlament possess the actual power!!
      and this is not the case in countries with a so called democracy!
      every parlament in the west for example is depend on private banks!
      because its just the private banks which have got the abillity to produce money!
      the parlaments just have got the power to distribute money.
      this is a dilemma!
      no country in the world is democratic because there is no country where people have got the abillity the elect the people who have got the actual power….
      the real power is hidden.
      for example during the french revolution the people democratize the politics but not the money. the power of money just have exchanged the hands.
      as long money is private and not public there is no democracy!

  2. Moto

    Sorry, I feel difficult to explain the concept of democracy,…

    • Its like Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, 31 Flavors, Exorbitant Prices, Hundreds of Employee`s, Millions of Dollar`s in Profits, 2% Principal Ownership ! Pledge your Corporate Allegiance, and Enjoy your Flavor of the Month !

  3. Denying human evolution and crushing people’s aspirations is like trying to stop a 30-ton rock from falling with one hand. Like all peoples, the Saudi people want emancipation from the yoke of political and religious totalitarianism.

    Continuing to support an oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else for that matter, is a self-defeating prophecy that will only lead to violent outcome where people will be the winner. History is replete with vivid examples.

    • Dana Islam

      I’m a Canadian politico-secret hostage of the Saudi National Security Department in Ministry Interior Federal National Head Quarters since march 5th 2005.

  4. ROBERTA

    Even in Italy, where Republic (and Democracy) arrived after the Second World War, there are doubts… were we too “young ” for it???? My opinion is NEVER. A Kingdom can be democratic as well ….and women are the beginners… always! Your King seems to be on the good track…GOOD LUCK

  5. The Feudal Monarchy has its origins in Tribal Patriarchy ( Jacob, Clovis, Genghis Khan, etc. ) Today though the Bourgeois Plutocracy Arabia calls the Saudi Monarchy, would be fortunate to stand a Fictitious Business Licence on the NYSE ! Current events in the sphere of the Arab Spring, only point out the need for Reform concerning the Socio-Political relationship between Heaven and Earth in the Arab World. I. entreat Saudiwoman to endeavor to address both, to a Due, and Progressive Coalition. Allahu Akbar !
    Solidarity to all Republican, Green, Socialist, and Communist Cause !

    • The Feudal Monarchy has its origins in Tribal Patriarchy. ( Jacob, Clovis, Genghis Khan, etc. ) Today though, the Bourgeois Plutocracy Arabia calls the Saudi Monarchy, would be fortunate to stand a Fictitious Business Licence on the NYSE ! Current events in the sphere of the Arab Spring, only point out the need for Reform, concerning the Socio-Political relationship between Heaven and Earth in the Arab World.
      I. entreat Saudiwoman to endeavor to address both, to a Due, and Progressive Coalition. Allahu Akbar !
      Solidarity to all Republican, Green, Socialist, and Communist Cause !

      • Get a grip, good fellow. Recall that Soviet communism crashed in flames. In theory, it seems workable but in reality it succumbs to deep corruption. I mean in comparison to other systems, which allow citizens a free voice and a vote. Watch China carefully. Their greatest fear is famine.

        With Regards
        Kathleen

      • Kathleen in Montana@ So many, doubtful, perished in the mountains,
        Climbing up crags to get a view of islands,
        So many, fearful, took with them their sorrow
        Which stayed them when they reached unhappy cities,
        So many, careless, dived and drowned in water,
        So many, wretched, would not leave their valleys.

        It is our sorrow. Shall it melt? Ah, water
        Would gush, flush, green these mountains and these valleys,
        And we rebuild our cities, not dream of islands.

        From W.H. Auden`s: Paysage Moralisé

      • September 17, 2012
        Alois Saint-Martin, Dear SIr, I see that you are a man of peace. Auden’s voice continues to be a compassionate force in the world. I believe you and I may disagree on Communism (as it has come to pass), and the role of Mao Zedong in the progress of human dignity. He did not bring freedom and human dignity.

        Within Chinese boundaries, the ordinary citizen has no political voice and no vote. Powerless. Justice is unreliable, Often an illusion. This is Mao’s legacy. Many believe he was a madman. It is good that the internet allows an educated Chinese person some limited voice outside their country, and perhaps within. It helps us understand. I admire Ai Weiwei, for example. And I look to find other Chinese voices online. The language barrier is formidable!

        Thank you for bringing us this Auden poem.
        Regards,
        Kathleen

      • Kathleen in Montana@ Question is does the Ordinary Citizen really need the Right to Vote ? The Good Father (Mother) should know his Children`s needs, long before they come to Stomping, Screaming, Tantrums ? I. say to you now, that what the Ordinary Citizen desires is not Political Equality, but Political Opportunity ! And how does that serve to make a Home suitable to the Raising and Caring of Children ? In a Bi-Partisan system such as those that exist in the Capitalist West, what are your chances then, of seeing your own Philosophical Ideals, reach maturity ? All Communism proves is that Building a Strong House is simply smarter, than having a list of Motels that allow Pets, in case of emergency. Capitalism is made to “Work” in every sense Communism has; But only Communism takes into account the Welfare and Posterity, of the Nation as a Whole; And I. believe Future efforts towards ” A more perfect form of Government” will bear this out…”… whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitution on accident and force. ” ~ Alexander Hamilton

      • Ordinary citizens are not children.
        What planet do you come from?!
        Kathleen

  6. Kathleen in Montana

    With care, brave sisters, with care. Consider your risks. Pick your fights. Each of your voices inspires hope and carries much weight. You have my respect.
    Kathleen in Montana

    • Kathleen in Montana@ Ordinary Citizens are nothing more than DNA bound proteins on strands of Chromosomes. Also, if it were not for Mao Zedong, China would be worse off now than Bollywood, instead of being the Worlds leading National Economy. Put that on your Interstellar 12-inch gold-plated copper disk, and Project It !

  7. adey

    Sadly, democracy is almost always never given……it has to be taken. The powerful never give away their privileges. And often times the ruling classes are overturned through outside strife.

    England – 1640′s: After the Civil War the King was executed because he refused to recognise parliament, England became a republic for over a decade.

    France – 1789: The French Revolution ushered in French democracy.

    America – 1776: The Revolutionary War freed the country from the yoke of British rule and planted the seeds of what we see as secular, liberal, enlightenment democracy.

    Germany – 1918: The defeat of Germany in WW1 saw the Kiaser deposed and the country embrace democracy.

    Spain – 1930′s: Sometimes the forces of democracy lose. The fascists won the Spanish Civil War and the dictator Franco remained in power till his death in the 70′s. Only then did Spain get democracy.

    India – 1947: only after years of Civil disobedience and bloodshed did India become an independent democracy.

    Argentina – 1980′s: Only after losing an external war did the people rise up and demand an end to Military rule.
    The same with many other South American countries.

    WW2 saw defeated or liberated countries affect democracy.

    The fall of the USSR in 1989 saw many of their satellite/client states fight their local dictators for democracy.

    And most recently………Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

    The sad fact is that democracy has to be taken and/or the ruling elite crushed. If you wait around passively hoping for crumbs to be brushed off the table down to you………….well, you’ll just carry on waiting.
    And when religious institutions derive their influence from a cosying up to dictorial power (as was prevalent in many of the examples above) they certainly are no friends of democracy.

    • adey@ Keep Plugging ! England still has a Monarchy; And Republican efforts in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, still suffer for Freedom and Independence !
      The French Reign of Terror was appeased by Murder, ( Danton, Robespierre, ) and the usurpation by the Bourgeois ( Aristocracy ? ) of most of her Revolutionary Republican Ideals.
      Slavery was not abolished in America until 1865.
      You didn`t even mention the German Workers Revolution of 1848 ?
      Franco killed hundreds of thousands of Republicans and Socialists to defend his “Christian Democracy”. (Which included the Monarchists / the Bourbon Juan Carlos II notwithstanding !)
      Ask yourself, what would Gandhi think of India Today ?
      Hugo Chavez is making a mockery of Capitalism in Latin America, causing a Global embarrassment, only some form of Pentagon ( Or U.N./EU ) covert blackmail, or conspiracy, will remedy.
      The Muslim Brotherhood is hardly the ” Global Neighbor ” Barack Obama envisioned.
      If the recent Civil War in Syria, the Plutocratic repression in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as the uproar over our Idea`s of Freedom of Expression, are any example; The Arab Spring may yet, have away to go, before achieving it`s ultimate ends ?

      • “England still has a Monarchy; And Republican efforts in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, still suffer for Freedom and Independence !”

        The Monarchy is supported by the overwhelming majority of people in the UK. (A recent poll suggested an 80% approval rating for the Monarchy, a rating most politicians would give their right arm for.) So who exactly is suffering for Freedom and Independence? Can you give names? Can you give examples of how they suffer? I live in Scotland and I am not aware of anyone suffering for these things.

        Wales, N Ireland and Scotland will all have independence if and when they vote for it. They, and the rest of the UK for that matter, will become a republic or republics if and when they vote for it.

        I suggest that you write about what you know – which I suspect is a good deal less than you imagine.

      • sirderam@ Stop placating your own arguments !

  8. jiji

    I fear that the best case scenario you describe is all but a dream within a dream. Democracy is almost never brought into being willingly by dictators and monarchs, our recent history spanning the past couple of years alone is a testament to that. Sadly, the efforts of such regimes are geared to halt and quiesce voices of reason, those that demand political participation and the inclusion of all factions of society as a having a right to shape their own future. On a different note, I have become very accustomed to hearing about the dooms-day scenario as it has become a great way to spread fear amongst the people of the “chaos” and “lawlessness” that comes along such transitions. There will always be a heavy price to pay if a people so badly desire freedom, only they can decide whether they believe it is worth it or not.

  9. I hope the Saudi King(s) are wise enough to learn a lesson from the fate of Charles I. It would would be best for both them and for their people in the long run if they did.

    Good luck!

  10. salman

    I believe that Eman Alnajfan’s aim in this world to defame the Saudi men. She portrays the Saudi man as a monster!! As an authoritative person!! As an underdeveloped person!! All her life is dedicated for a trivial aim, woman to drive. Shame on you to lose your time in this earthly objective. Shame on your husband to support such humble issue. I wish that you reassess your orientation in this life. Our mothers, sisters and daughters are happily exercising their supportive roles for their families in this life and accepting the Islamic teaching with happy soul. Woman right is not TO DRIVE!!! Woman right is only dignity. Dignity in homes, in courts and in all government’s establishments. Hopefully, you make a true study about the women in Europe (Who drives) and compare it with Saudi women. Thanks

    • Sandy

      Clearly you are not very familiar with how the Saudi system oppresses women- nor how it allows abuse. There is no dignity in being treated as an adult child. Many of your mothers, sisters and daughters are suffering dreadfully. Wake up.

      • salman

        please do an study in our socity. take sample from different places. What you & Eman are doing is only to attract attention of American Media. See what syrian gov. is doing with its people!! see greek gov. is doing with its people. see many countries and judge> Driving is headless peopel’s aim.

    • Sandy

      Salman, I live here. I see how women suffer here all the time. Whatever atrocities are happening in Syria don’t change the lack of basic human rights for women in Saudi Arabia.

      • Salman

        I live here too. if 5% suffering, 95% are OK. saudi woman are living well, secured well, wearing well, eating well. I think many women are hoping to be the wifes of saudis. Please lets do a field study togather. lets start by creating a questioneer then we distribuete it to so many saudiwomen. if you are trusting your view, lets start this project.

      • Sandy

        The legal system/code speaks for itself. However, you are welcome to do a survey and I will read it with interest. Please tell us who the women are. Which ones are relatives- and how you manage to access women for this survey. Are the results guaranteed private? Are the owners (whoops “guardians”) standing over their women as they fill them out? How will you guarantee their security if they answer in a manner their owner doesn’t approve of? How will this survey work out its sampling to be truly representative? Face it- the women (other than your family) you would have access to live relatively liberal lives and will actually distort the results in my favor.

        However, if you can develop a proposal for a scientifically valid survey, with sound methodology and a process for administering it I would be very interested indeed in the results. And I think many others would be interested as well.

  11. Pingback: Eman Al-Nafjan on Saudi Arabia and Democracy - Middle East Experience

  12. Democracy in danger? i don’t know that it ever really existed anywhere actually. It seems what we have now is a faux democracy at best. Thanks to the creator though the people aren’t that stupid we are aware of what is going on.

    The biggest threat? Colonialism. The same as it was 500 years ago.

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  14. your worst nightmare

    disclaimer — the biggest threat to democracy apparently is my beloved republic itself , or should i say FORMER great republic. as an american who CHOSE Islaam, I also view most of you so called Wahabi arabs as DISGRACEFUL in your stupid claim that respecting Islamic historical sites and commemorating the early events of Islaam as shirk.

    The destruction of the holy sites by the deviant Saudis in power,
    by Ustadh Muqallid Abdul Haqq Al-Amreeki

    Dear Maulana, this article I have typed based on my own feelings at seeing the structures designed in Mecca. May Allah give you the tawfiq to accomplish your goals in both this doonya and the akheera.

    Bismillah hir Rahman ir Raheem,

    It was with much horror that I first viewed the giant All seeing-eye horror occult megalith constructed in the holiest and most sacred site on planet earth

    “A glowing green disc hovers high in the sky at night, casting an eerie glow over a forest of minarets, cranes and concrete frames that seem to stretch endlessly into the dusty distance, like a vast field of dominoes. The disc is the largest clockface in the world – and not only does it adorn the tallest clocktower in the world, it also sits atop a building boasting the biggest floor area in the world. Visible 30km away, this is the Abraj al-Bait, which rises like Big Ben on steroids to tower 600m over the holy mosque of Mecca in the spiritual heart of the Islamic world.
    This thrusting pastiche palace houses an array of luxury hotels and apartments, perched above a five-storey slab of shopping malls. Completed last year at a cost of $15bn (£9bn), it stands where an Ottoman fortress once stood. A stone citadel built in 1781 to repel bandits, the Ajyad fortress’s demolition sparked an international outcry in 2002, but this was quickly rebuffed by the Saudi Islamic affairs minister. “No one has the right to interfere in what comes under the state’s authority,” he said. “This development is in the interest of all Muslims all over the world.” The fortress wasn’t just swept away – the hill it sat on went, too.
    Shooting 26 searchlights 10km into the skies, and blaring its call to prayer 7km across the valley, the Abraj al-Bait is also the world’s second tallest building. Encrusted with mosaics and inlaid with gold, it is the most visible (and audible) sign of the frenzied building boom that has taken hold of Saudi Arabia’s holy city over the last 10 years. The house of the prophet’s wife, Khadijah, was razed to make way for public lavatories; the house of his companion, Abu Bakr, is now the site of a Hilton hotel; and his grandson’s house was flattened by the King’s palace. “They are turning the holy sanctuary into a machine, a city which has no identity, no heritage, no culture and no natural environment. They’ve even taken away the mountains,” says Angawi.
    Geological features have proved no match for dynamite and concrete, which are being liberally deployed to make way for the burgeoning number of visitors. Three million Muslims arrived in Mecca this week for the annual hajj pilgrimage, an event that has mutated from a simple, spartan rite of passage, in which pilgrims give up their worldly goods, into a big-bucks business worthy of Las Vegas – with the overblown architecture to match.
    Along the western flank of the city are the first towers of the Jabal Omar development, a sprawling complex that will eventually accommodate 100,000 people in 26 luxury hotels (notice how the number 26 is used by the Occultists on both the lights and the buildings– comments of Ustadh Abdul Haqq)– sitting on another gargantuan plinth of 4,000 shops and 500 restaurants, along with its own six-storey prayer hall. The line of blocks, which will climb to heights of up to 200 metres and terminate in a monumental gateway building, share the clocktower’s Islamic-lite language: a cliched dressing of pointed arches and filigree grillwork plastered over generic concrete shells.
    The developers have somehow transformed a type of architecture that evolved from a dense urban grain of low-rise courtyards and narrow streets into meaningless wallpaper: an endlessly repeatable pattern for the decoration of standardised slab after standardised slab. Flimsy rows of concrete arches hang above swaths of blue mirror glass, punctuated by stick-on timber trellis screens. These are modelled on traditional mashrabiya panels, those beautiful latticework openings designed as ventilating veils, but here they become meaningless applique. “If we are imitating, why can’t we imitate the best?” asks Angawi, in a tone of desperation. “Why are we imitating the worst mistakes of 60 or 70 years ago from around the world – only even bigger?”
    Another development of repetitive slabs, echoing Jabal Omar’s toast-rack urbanism, is slated for the northern side of the Grand Mosque, at al-Shamiya, while a $10bn plan to provide an extra 400,000 sq metres of prayer halls there is almost complete. Standing like a gigantic triangular slice of wedding cake, this building will accommodate 1.2m more worshippers each year, but it has come at a price.”

    —http://muslimvillage.com/2012/10/25/30665/meccas-mega-architecture-casts-shadow-over-hajj/

    the very house Nabi Ibraheem alayhee salam constructed with his own hands. The building work has inevitably changed the hajj experience for everyone. Aside from the increased pollution and heavy machinery, there is more segregation along economic and class lines. Surely, I am not alone in this assessment and every day around the world hundreds of poor Muslims from third world countries for the first time take gaze and tremble at the giant monuments of kufr and shirk, totally against the Sunnah of Rasulullah salalahu alayhee wasalam and his glorious Sahaba kareem. These giant buildings are indeed far for dark and sinister in scope than most laymen may realize. It may be that our vanguards in the field of ‘Amr bil maroof wa nahi anil munkar have underestimated the sheer size, money, and evil of the conspiracy that taken ahold of planet earth and placed its toxic corrupting european idols in the forms of buildings. These buildings are actually giant idols. Indeed, they appear to come alive striking terror into the hears of righteous men and women who fear Allah. Indeed, how would Rasulullah salalahuualayheewasalam handle the situation with the buildings? He would do the exact same thing he did in the Kabba and bring down each building of kufr and shirk with controlled demolition. Then, Rasulullah salalahu alayhee wasalam, under the fear and love of Allah, would call upon all of the Muslims of the world to meet in Mecca and he would address them as a people, in person; and the juma’aat would arrive at a much lovely and better architect plan for the holy precincts. It is indeed a great time of tribulation on planet earth, as much on the immediate horizon looks ominous, but Allah is using this conspiracy that has clutched the entire world and even the holy precincts of Islaam to prove that although the kuffaar plot and plan and conspire, so too is Allah planning a better plan and it will prevail at the end of the day in glory. Subahanaallah!! Allahuakbar our Lord is such a great Rabb. How many of us remember that all we have to do to make Allah our Wali is to lower our gaze towrads ghaiyr muhram women and instead fear Allah.

    The destruction of the amazing sites of Allah by these mad-men with power operating over the 5,000 saudi prince is remarkable – in fact, it may be that Allah has placed within the 5,000 Saudi princes at least one hero. How anyone could equate respect of tradition, history, legacy and the fact that pure Tawheed actually demands pondering over the creation and the ayats of Allah, not destroying them. The house of Khadijah radiallahu anha – if Rasulullah salalahualayheewasalam were alive now how would he respond to these acts? It may be true that if needed, Rasulullah would allow the spot to be given to the poor – but to build toilets on the house of Khadijah and a Hilton hotel on the house of Hadhrat Abu Bakr radiallahuanhu, may Allah crush them down along with the arrogant Shaytoni Fraud Sauds. To even use one of the Names of Allah to describe this deviant sect, Al-Wahab, is not befitting to Allah Azza Wa Jal’s Grandeur and Sublime Sifaats. Indeed Rasulullah salalahu alayhee wasalam would undoubtedly destroy these giant monuments of kufr, dhulm, shirk, bida’a and on. It is unfortunate how this conspiracy snuck up on the Muslim vanguard so quickly. It indeed was a well organized long-term business plan set in effect in Germany and Brittain. When I was a young man in high school, a friend of mine named Chris Thompson gave me a book – “Fleshing out Skull and Bones, order 322”. Every year at Yale University 15 white college frat men would meet. The likes of all three Bush unconstitutional criminals were in this religious cult the rituals of which involved Prescott Bush digging up the bones of epic American Indian war legend Giranamo, may Allah save him. Such skullduggery is indicative of black magic occultism. A human skull was always placed on a table in front of the yearly photograph (including all three Bushs) and in that same photograph there was, in the same room – you guessed it – a giant grandfather clock, a small idol-god eerily similar to the massive Idol placed in the Haram Shareef! May Allah bring these evil monuments to a hasted destruction! Black magic has been unleashed, which in Islaam we know exists and is haraam and whosoever calls on Djinn only does so at the cost of his own soul. In Islaam we are NOT permitted to call on Djinn. However, that does not mean that people who do call on Djinn will not conjure some dark power from the wickid haram. This, however, is all a part of Allah’s plan to let the Haqq prevail on its own. Of course Allah can interfere but we are living in the single most interesting time in all of human history and Allah is going to see how it pans out before He steps in with His Divine Wrath and destroy the monuments of Kufr and Shirk found in the Holy Lands of Islaam.

    My dear brothers in Islaam, PLEASE WAKE UP to what the Saudi Authoritarian Fascist New World Order tyranny has planned for the Haram Shareef! They are surrounding it with a horrible new reality! Now, from every single possible angle that only the best math expert could solve, there are eyes on the Kabba. Breathtaking in horror, the Musellai realizes that the new all seeing eye has thousands of cameras and angles staring fixatedly on the Kabba itself. My dear brothers and sisters in Islaam please I beg of you boycott the future plans for putting up 30 odd domino-looking monuments all around. Please look at this future plan and do everything in your power to prevent it from coming into being –

    It is with a sad heart that I write this letter of mine only because I remember when once my beloved Teacher taught me that, “if you see something unlawful, change it with your hands. If you cannot do that, speak out against it, and if you cannot even do this much, feel bad about it in your heart”.

    We should all make fervant dua’a that Allah brings these giant monolith idols of kufr and shirk to a hastened destruction. AMEEEN

    Ustadh Muqallid Abdul Haqq al Amreeki
    Dhul Hijjah 9th, 1433

  15. jack wilson

    once again saudi women are afraid to do anything to get human rights..its time you thru off the burka and fought your government or nothing will change…you are cowards and the rest of the world see’s you as cowards…its time to fight for your rights-human rights….at least do it for the generations of females to come ? do you want them to look back at this time and see you did nothing to help them when you could of done something ? do you want them to call you cowards ? being afraid to die for a cause is no reason to not do it..some of you will die if you protest but thats the price you pay to be free…..now quit all this b.s. talking and do something to better the lives of women in your country

  16. mirage

    Saudi primitive tribesman, living with a 15th century mindset, in a 21 st century world, with untold riches and comforts, while importing poor people to be their servants…

  17. No country’s citizens are ready for democracy, but we do what we can with what we have. In the United States we are constantly fighting to ensure that people get the right to vote. Then, we still have to work hard to get people to go to the voting booths. In the meantime, it would be great if citizens learned about the candidates, but democracy is hard work.

    It’s like not being in good enough shape to go to the gym. You have to do it to be able to do it.

  18. Jana

    The concept of democracy has simply said, to do with:
    1. a constitutional law defining the rights of people, for example: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equal rights independent of race and gender.
    2 a separation of powers: a government making laws, a controlling parliament and a court solving disputes.
    3 a representation of the people of a country in a parliament.

    There is one easy check for a democracy: look at the situation of minorities in a country and it is easy to tell if there is a functioning democracy.
    Looking at my own situation in the Netherlands, belonging to a minority, I am positive about my country, Still there are improvements to make. democracy. .

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