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Democracy or Dictatorship

  • Date Submitted: 09/23/2013 10:03 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.8 
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Sunday, July 11, 2010 - The term “democracy “, like many other terms is often abused and misused. The classic debate one hears is a discussion on the merits and demits of democracy vs dictatorship. A definition of both needs to be made to clear the cobwebs. The term “democracy”, comes from the Greek: dçmokrat?a meaning thereby “rule of the people”. Even though there is no specific, universally accepted definition of ‘democracy’, there are two principles that any definition of democracy includes: equality and freedom. These principles are reflected in all citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to power, and the freedom of its citizens is secured by legitimized rights and liberties which are generally protected by a constitution.

This explanation raises many questions: Do our political parties within their cadre, allow it’s workers equal access to power? Can a worker within a party structure has the opportunity to rise to the status of the Chairperson of that party, in due course of time? Lady Warsi’s appointment as Conservative Party Chairperson and a full cabinet minister reflects on the progress the UK has made in terms of maturity in their political sphere. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, we remain stuck in the groove of dynastic dynamics and have not progressed from this point in over 62 years of our history.

From PPP to ANP to MQM and PML N and all shades of parties in between, we see the mantle of leadership being worn by the one who originated the party, and much like a family heirloom passed on from one generation to the other. Is this the much touted democratic order ?Where is the democracy WITHIN the party cadres themselves? Is heredity to determine who heads the party and merit to be ignored? When heredity becomes the corner stone of the political parties, this in turn inevitably leads to sycophancy and appointment by favoritism, not merit. There is no accountability within the party from those who purport to lead the party. 



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