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The crisis of Iraqi 'democracy' DinarDailyUpdates?bg=330099&fg=FFFFFF&anim=1

The crisis of Iraqi 'democracy'

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The crisis of Iraqi 'democracy' Empty The crisis of Iraqi 'democracy'

Post by Kevind53 Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:03 pm

In 2003, democracy, for Iraqis, seemed like a magical solution to the crises and catastrophes that they had inherited from Saddam Hussein's dictatorship. They thus tried to freely express their opinions to the point of sometimes practicing democracy with a measure of abandon. By 2013, however, their views had changed, as new ideas had surfaced whereby, somehow and in some respects, many seemed to feel that democracy should be abandoned for the sake of security.

The recent crisis in Anbar and the political struggle in Iraq that degenerated into armed confrontations has opened the door to the return of reconsidering the democratic solution as an efficient means to put an end to the domestic rivalries.

Indeed, there were no indications of internal dialogue in the latest developments on the ground in Anbar, not to mention the escalation of the situation, whether on the part of the tribes or the Iraqi government, where arms had the upper hand. This suggests that armed confrontations to solving disputes will not lead to any durable solutions.

The major reaction against democratic tendencies in the Iraqi political milieu, which has been reflected in the public opinion in recent years, can be explained by the fact that Iraqis have never truly engaged in the democratic life, they rather merely adopted some of its aspects, such as elections.

This issue, however, goes beyond Iraq. From Tunisia to Libya, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iran and the Gulf states, a culture prevails that tries to forcefully link democracy and chaos. This culture does not compare its experiences with those of established democracies around the world, but with the experiences of young and turbulent experiments born in difficult times, leading to political squabbling, civil wars and corruption.

The accumulation of failed experiments in the region — in particular the succession of political, security and economic failures in Iraq — has negatively affected overall views toward democracy. Some voices even blame democracy itself for these failures. In this context, democracy is perceived as revolving around elections, quotas and corruption, whereas dictatorship is viewed as rule by a strongman capable of imposing law and order. Democracy is something that leads to social rivalries, while dictatorship is the imposition of power by force to prevent social clashes.

This is the highly confused interpretation of which people in the region have become convinced and that political and cultural elites have failed to redress. In fact, these elites have directly contributed to enforcing this interpretation through their totalitarian proclivities, to the point where a lot of them could be described as longing for the whips of the executioner!

Their interpretation is, of course, not valid, as democracy does not pave the way for devastation and chaos. It, in fact, is the only permanent solution along the road to settling disputes in troubled communities. Implementing democratic principles must be viewed as an integral part of resolving social problems, particularly when broken bridges need to be repaired between local communities and trust restored among the different religious, ideological and other components within a society.

Describing consensual democracy as a division of quotas entails a deliberate distortion of democratic principles. Consensus is not a term alien to democracy, and no modern democratic society has been able to grow and firmly sink its roots without first establishing a consensual mechanism to facilitate the implementation of democracy’s different forms and procedures.

One must not consider political “consensus” in Iraq to be a problem. Rather, the real problem lies in its implementation and its transformation into the division of spoils among parties within the context of their fundamental disagreements over the bases required to form a state.

The search for a new style of governance in Iraq based on a system of rule by the political majority cannot be successful until the goals of consensual democracy are attained. Adversaries must agree on common rules and red lines representing the bare minimum needed to guarantee the nation’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, equitable sharing of wealth and mechanisms for proper governance, as well as assurances aimed at preventing any one individual, group or sect from entirely controlling the fate of the country in the long run.

Today, in light of the murky atmosphere following the Anbar battle, Iraq needs to move away from the misconceptions that have permeated its society through its political and cultural elites and restore the standing of democracy as a solution and not a problem. Short of this, one cannot move forward or dream of a unified geographical entity or a future common to all.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/01/iraq-crisis-consensual-democracy.html#ixzz2qIpQ0DXd

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Kevind53
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The crisis of Iraqi 'democracy' Empty Re: The crisis of Iraqi 'democracy'

Post by Ponee Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:39 pm

GOOD ARTICLE !  THANKS KEVIN!

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