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Losing faith in democracy    

Mahmudur Rahman       | Published: February 12, 2019 22:18:22 | Updated: February 14, 2019 22:16:38


Democracy isn't perfect but it's the best ism available. The statement made nearly a hundred years ago by Sir Winston Churchil is wearing thin. From Africa through Latin America, Asia to Europe more and more people are losing faith in the ism and the elections that come with it. Credibility has been lost with Venezuelans and the French as the kind dished out by politicians splinter the social fabric and cost of living. For thirteen straight weeks the French yellow jackets have been demanding the resignation of the government for reneging on the better life style promised them. Their complaint is lack of jobs, dwindling living standards and the trigger of higher fuel costs. Half of the Venezuelans, cleverly divided into the haves and have-nots are demanding for President Nicolas Maduro to step down from the presidency and Spain's electorate are suspicious of Mr. Pedro Sanchez's minority government's handling of the Catalonian independence movement. They, on the contrary are demanding elections in place of the constitutional process through which Mr. Pedro came to power.

Shift the focus to the UK where Ms. Theresa May sticks to her guns over a second referendum that she believes knowingly or not the British people subscribed to no matter what a group within her own party, the government alliance partner and the Labour Party are clamouring over to get out of the growing Brexit mess.

Against opposition call for his resignation, Mr. Maduro is willing to preside over a shambles in the economy that has seen over three million people leave the country afflicted by hyperinflation and plan food and job shortages. He is standing up to the United States and the EU calls to step down because he is propped up by China and Russia. Whatever love lost between them, Venezuela is held together by the massive loans and investments made by them in the country.

But now that the US is trampling on the Venezuelan lifeline, the 41 per cent oil exports to the US, matters are likely to change. The convoy of humanitarian aid isn't being allowed in the country because they are in response to Head of the National Assembly Juan Guido rather than Mr. Maduro. It's ego rather than anything else and Mr. Maduro is banking on his well provided for supporters and the army backing that he has.

The Achilles heel of democracy comes from this partly international call from the developed world for Mr. Maduro, elected just a while ago to step down. The cause has been alleged widespread fraud in the hustings and raise the question not only whether democracy is to be followed but whether it has been badly tainted.

France, on the other hand had a fair election as decided by the world community but how quickly people's faith wither! The promises made haven't been forthcoming in implementation as Mr. Emmanuel Macron gets embroiled in the bigger issues of global politics. Whatever steps he has taken may have raised his status as the de facto European leader as Angela Merkel's decline becomes visible but at home his reforms, promised tangible steps haven't sparked the imagination. This leads to an essential flaw in democracy-the time it takes to implement reform. In Spain Mr. Pedro promised talks and a firm statement about the unity of Spain. That he hasn't gone anywhere with either is raising unease among the Spaniards that have concerns over their economy, jobs and standard of living themselves.

These are all contributing to the loss of faith in democracy and elections with the ever suffering Greeks simply livid that the name of the birthplace of their hero Alexander the Great, Macedonia will now be shared in a strange sort of way. Their government survived the vote of confidence and it's all wrapped and sealed. Does it have public approval? Probably not.

mahmudrahman@gmail.com

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