Democratic deficit of Western “democracies”

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Editor

Jumada' al-Ula' 09, 1433 2012-04-01

Editor's Desk

by Editor (Editor's Desk, Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 2, Jumada' al-Ula', 1433)

Western governments not only claim to have the best system — democracy — they also want to export it to the rest of the world. They send observers to other countries to ensure free and fair elections. Yet the claimant to the strongest democracy in the world — the US — has a serious democratic deficit. Its two party system is easily manipulated by people with money.

Western governments not only claim to have the best system — democracy — they also want to export it to the rest of the world. They send observers to other countries to ensure free and fair elections. Yet the claimant to the strongest democracy in the world — the US — has a serious democratic deficit. Its two party system is easily manipulated by people with money, hence the saying: America has the best democracy money can buy. Even ordinary Americans have realized this.

But America is not the only country with a serious democratic deficit. Canada has traditionally prided itself on being less jingoistic than its southern neighbor but its problems are no less serious. A few weeks ago it emerged that during last May’s general elections when the Conservative Party won a majority, there were serious issues of voter suppression. Many people known to be supporters of other parties received phone calls — dubbed robocalls — telling them their polling station had been moved to some far-off location. The callers claimed to be from Elections Canada.

After the story broke out, Elections Canada received 31,000 complaints from people being misdirected to wrong polling stations. Given that many conservative candidates won by a narrow margin, ranging from 18 to 26 votes, such calls perhaps seriously distorted the election outcome. Canadians have been furious at this electoral fraud and demanded a public inquiry only to face a stonewalling rightwing government.

So much for Canadian democracy!

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