Democracy for Export
It has become popular in recent years for certain western Nations to promote democracy in areas of the world which have traditionally been ruled by despotic and authoritarian regimes. Democracy is promoted as a cure-all for a number of destabilizing influences, including support for terrorism. The democracy which is offered comes in only one flavour, which happens to be the style of democracy popular in the West for the last 100 or so years, a form of democracy emasculated by party political process and limiting representation to a preselected enclave, controlled by party apparatchiks on behalf of their respective vested interests.
There may be some benefits in the party political system as opposed to true democratic representation. The arbitrary division into parties places little burden of choice on the individual voter. Choice is limited to those candidates preselected by the party apparatus, ignoring the potential and capacity of the majority of citizens for the role of representative. Vested interests do not have to squander their largess randomly in order to influence the processes of government. They can invest instead in a few well defined institutions, one of which they may be confident will gain a controlling vote in the parliament. It allows the fulfillment of promises made to vested interests prior to and during the expensive period of electioneering to be fulfilled, without the distraction of the parochial concerns of individual electorates. Because the party political candidate owes their allegiance to the party and not to the electorate, the party can make promises which the candidates are then obliged to fulfill, regardless of the needs or interests of their constituents.
Another benefit of the party system is that it provides a career path for professional representatives. Loyalty to the party can be rewarded by nomination to more secure seats. A career politician thinks beyond the needs of their electorate to consider continuity of office as a priorty, and gives their allegiance to the party machine which offers the best protection against being voted out of office. More secure seats offer the prospect of significant increases in remuneration and retirement benefits. Evidence of continuity in party control of electorates also helps campaign managers direct limited resources into particular seats considered marginal by party apparatchiks, and where candidates may require propping up on the hustings.
Curiously, the ideal number of parties is seen as two; one more than totalitarianism, and enough to be called democracy, without risking instability of government which is the ever present danger should representatives have the temerity to express their own views on issues and to vote according to their conscience. The result is not a parliament of the people, but government by committee, with the parliament led by its nose to invariably pre-determined decisions, while entertaining the masses with expensive and futile theatrics of “debate”. Instead of a powerful meld of minds, with each elected representative sincerely applying their full faculties to each issue on behalf of their electors, an impoverished committee of power brokers determines the outcome of debates before they are heard.
The potential of true consultation for distilling insightful solutions to challenging issues is lost in favour of political expediency, and the assurance of funding for the next election campaign. How is it that a creature capable of escaping the gravitational bonds of earth and soaring to the moon cannot in this day conceive of a more suitable form of representation, when the present system requires voters to squander what franchise they have on a tainted and inherently corrupt system? And by whose authority does the West claim a right to subject the East to conversion by the sword, to this absurd and outdated system of government?