Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Democracy under threat

Late evening, but I've found the Internet where I can check up on my blog and read about what's been happening in the world - and its all rather depressing. Events in Kenya are deeply worrying for anyone who believes that democracy is the best form of government. It follows the equally shocking events in Pakistan last week . In both countries the violence and death toll could easily grow - and grow hugely. The list of countries where attempts to establish stable democratic governments are in trouble is disappointingly long.

This leads inevitably to contemplation about our own democratic system. Seems to me that even in the UK, democracy is not in the best of health. The proportion of the voting population which has any real interest in what candidates, think or have to say is diminishing - particularly amongst young people. Even though I try quite hard to engage with voters, it is difficult to find people who are open to be influenced by policies or opinion. This is one reason why I enjoy blogging, particularly when the blog attracts comments that challenge my posts - preferably from people who do not resort to abuse!!

A disappointing aspect of British politics is the dishonesty involved in it - and I don't mean criminal dishonesty. I sometimes listen to statements being made that are knowingly untrue or are deliberately designed to deceive. I accept that in a party system, it is sometimes necessary to argue the 'party line' even if you don't agree with it - I've done it myself (but I'm not going to say when). And I often hear quotes used which have the sole purpose of misinterpreting what's been said. I've heard politicians saying one thing to one audience and the opposite to another. This isn't honest. Even worse, it leads to a general disinterest in our democracy.

And then there's the focus on frivolity. I've listened to a lengthy and serious debate in the National Assembly , with the only media report of it being the one totally stupid comment that devalued the whole occasion. And then there is the obsession with celebrity. I've just caught the tail end of Newsnight when it was reported that Mike Huckabee may have won the Iowa Primary because he played the guitar with some noted celebrity. What's to be done I ask myself? Perhaps I'd better go learn how to play the guitar.


Professor Howdy said...

Solve this riddle if you can:

Find the four letter word
below shown as ****

(Answer at the end
of this comment.)

If I could speak in any
language in heaven or
on earth but didn't ****
others, I would only be
making meaningless noise
like a loud gong or a
clanging cymbal. If I
had the gift of prophecy,
and if I knew all the
mysteries of the future
and knew everything
about everything, but
didn't **** others, what
good would I be? And
if I had the gift of faith
so that I could speak
to a mountain and make
it move, without ****
I would be no good to
anybody. If I gave
everything I have to
the poor and even
sacrificed my body,
I could boast about it;
but if I didn't **** others,
I would be of no value
whatsoever. **** is
patient and kind. ****
is not jealous or boastful
or proud or rude. ****
does not demand its
own way. **** is not
irritable, and it keeps
no record of when it
has been wronged.
It is never glad about
injustice but rejoices
whenever the truth
wins out. **** never
gives up, never loses
faith, is always hopeful,
and endures through
every circumstance.

May You Always
Experience This
Kind Of ****,
Dr. Howdy

P.S. Here's some blogs & videos
that I found of interest as
I negotiated my way through

Every Student
My Blog Video
Religion Comparison
Avoid This Place
Danish Cartoons
Arabic Cartoons
Muhammad or Jesus???
Answering Islam
Is Jesus God?
A Short Look At Six World Religions
God's Word in different languages...
How to become a Christian
Who Is Jesus?
See The Word
Watch The Jesus Movie
Spanish Cartoons
German Cartoons
Chinese Cartoons
Italian Cartoons
Greek Cartoons
Japanese Cartoons
Portuguese Cartoons
Around the Well
French Cartoons
Hindi Cartoons
Russian Cartoons
Little Girl
Get Saved?
You & Sin City
Mysterious Disappearance
Evolution Video
The Departure
You Need To See This
'Thought & Humor'

Tell me sometime what your
thoughts are about all this
and whether you figured
out this riddle or not:O)

Riddle Answer:
**** = Love

Anonymous said...

Its up to us glyn. If we going to succeed in persuading our young people to particapate in our democratic processes, we have to perform and speak in a way which is based on integrity and a committment to social justice, protecting the environment, and honest debate. I want to become an AM but not for your party I must add. Go and learn to play the guitar, and learn to play it well.

Savonarola said...

Re 'African Democracy'.

It is true that elections are held in various African countries on a regular basis. This does not mean that these countries 'enjoy' democracy. As far as I know only two African leaders have heeded an election result in which they lost. Kaunda in Zambia and the ex Pres of Senegal. In Kenya's case sitting Presidents ignore the ballot box. Democracy in Africa does not work yet. When the West stops their interfering perhaps Africans will learn their own road map to democracy.

Glyn Davies said...

savonarola - You make a fair point. Its a very difficult judgement for the liberal democracies of the West to make - encouraging democracy without it appearing to be some form of neo-colonialism. We do not seem to have been very successful so far.