So finally Egypt is in the thralls of their election. I do hope it all goes well. But there are so many pitfalls on the road to wherever, socialism, democracy, self-determination. At the moment Egypt is ruled by the military. The military have vetted the candidates. Some have been disqualified for being imprisoned by the Mubarak régime for political offences. Many of the candidates are indeed muslim fundamentalists, many are ex-Mubarak people. They are people who served in his cabinet.
We in the West have tended to view the various forms of dictatorship in the Middle East & North Africa as set in stone. It was as though because of the threat & the fear of Islamic fundamentalists taking over. After all the excitement, the euphoria even, of the events in Tahir Square, the hopes of the demonstrators have been disappointed or at least they have not been justified. Tahir Square was a great outburst of people power which saw the downfall of Mubarak & hopefully the onset of a type of western liberal democracy.
We will see.
Democracy does have many problems. One of them is that the people in new democracies have such high hopes of a new system that they imagine that anything, indeed everything, is possible. But politics is the art of the possible & often very little is possible.
How long will it be before few people are interested in voting because they feel it makes no difference?
The main advantages of democracy lie elsewhere; they lie with separation of powers, with an independant judiciary, with freedom of speech, association & religion.