Reflections on the World…

One question. Does a democratic election work in this modern era? I ask myself today…

Democracy works, period. It works better when you can get everyone to shut up (as the elderly British statesman, Winston Churchill once pointed out). But looking at the world today, where media coverage is worldwide…weapons more readily available…global politics being accessible anywhere around the world…etc etc, we see a trend of ‘closely’ fought elections being marred by post-election violence perpetrated by those on the losing end (usually the non-incumbent). Latest example, see Kenya and now Georgia. Pakistan will be next one come their February national election. These events set a dangerous precedent and I can see such events occurring again in other parts of the world.

I am not going to talk about who is right, for neither would be anyway. What I find disturbing is that one can lose an election and resort to violence and mob rule in order to force the hand of the newly elected Government or the international community into either another election or a unity government or something else. They demand justice…but where is the justice when innocents get killed, their homes torched and shops looted in the name of ‘justice’. These people are not battling blood-thirsty dictators like Stalin, Mao-Tse-Tung, Hitler,or Mugabe in totally oppressed nations. If they were, then I’d understand. How can another election be fair when so much blood has been shed and destruction wrought?

<The argument above of course holds if the playing ground is close to level. It is not always the case all around the world>

Take Australia’s recent election results for example. The incumbent government lost by only 1.5% in the popular vote. 1.5% !!! Now that is very close, if 1.5% isn’t then I don’t know what is. Do we see the Liberal Party calling their supporters onto the streets to protest? No…not at all. Take the 2000 US General Election. George W. Bush won it by the narrowest of margins for the electoral college of Florida. Do we see the Democrats call their hoons onto the streets? No…not at all.

So why do we see such things happen elsewhere? I can only think of only one reason.

We have more to lose. And the ‘more’ here refer more to the socio-economic side of things. That being said, turning violent/angry after a loss isn’t exactly alien to us. However, spreading that violence to others somehow don’t surface in our psyche. Why?

A good question for me to think about. I’ll share about it when the light-bulb turns on.

Meanwhile, its prudence to consider that many the unscrupulous individual would exploit such emotions for their own gain.


PS: The Deputy PM of Malaysia just launched the election campaign in Kelantan. Only means one thing: the general elections will be coming in about 2-3 months time. I pray and hope for a better showing from the Opposition this time. I am not calling for a replacement in Government but for a stronger Opposition to keep our incumbent Government accountable (something which we Malaysians never had).


~ by shybeg122 on January 6, 2008.

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