Blogs > HNN > INDIA AND TURKEY PROVE THAT DEMOCRACY WORKS

Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


INDIA AND TURKEY PROVE THAT DEMOCRACY WORKS



"Hindu Nationalist Party Makes Unexpected Gains in India Vote" is a headline in today's NYT. What was the reason for the"unexpected" victory? The answer according to the editor of The Indian Express is that this was India's first"quality of life election." For apparently, to get reelected the Indian Nationalist Party"seriously avoided Hindutva (Hinduness) as an issue". In a democracy, the leaders depend on the people and the people are pragmatic and push to the center. Moreover, it should be noted that this pragmatism was reflected in the Party's foreign relations. For just as it was Nixon who went to China, it was Nationalist Vajpayee who not only went to China but also sought to improve his relations with Pakistan while attempting to solve the terrorist issue in Kashmir by building a fence (sounds familiar?) along the line of control.

The behavior of Erdogan's Islamic party parallels that of Vajpayee. Erdogan, too, wants to be reelected. So, his rejection of terrorism is fierce and his push to become an EU member unrelenting. Indeed, the recent terrorist attacks may be the help he needed to achieve his goal. At least that seems to be the message of Josca Ficsher's solidarity visit.

"Illiberal democracy" is not the problem. The bureaucracy's distrust of the people is. The US should trust the Iraqi people but stay in Iraq to insure that it will not replicate the Palestinian (and Nazi Germany's) experience of one election, one time. The Iraqi wish for peace and prosperity will do the rest. Sorry, if I begin to sound like a broken record but leaders must be made dependent on the people because they are less ideologically motivated than their elites.




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