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When does a democracy get fed up?

  • Published at 05:56 pm August 29th, 2018
Hers is an unenviable job REUTERS

So much for the new world order

Applied properly, democracy can throw its own surprises. And then again it can leave the electorate disgusted. 

Emmanuel Macron has demonstrated how to break the vicious cycle of established form by coming out of the blue and sweeping everything in sight. Imran Khan has been making all the correct overtures of austerity in his initial days of Pakistan’s prime ministership, and for all the doubts of rigging and propping up by the Pakistan military, all major parties were in parliament putting on a show of supporting democracy with all its imperfections. 

Australia’s politicians are now being compared with Italy for their rapid turnover of prime ministers and governments, and Theresa May has gone from “what’s good for Britain; what’s good for the EU” to “a no-deal Brexit isn’t the end of the world.” 

In between, Zimbabwe’s opposition has mounted a legal challenge to the hustings that swept Emmerson Mnangagwa into his first presidency, after years of being in the shadow of Robert Mugabe. 

Macron has by and large surged ahead with his promised agenda, including labour reforms that had unions on the street in protest. 

When Imran Khan announces his plans to address the massive debt Pakistan is in, austerity will be a mere drop in the ocean, his political mettle, especially in handling a parliament that is waiting to pounce, will be up for proper scrutiny.

His belief lies in a personal commitment to austere life that he, coming from affluent background, can afford. 

The question is whether his band of followers are as willing to come out of traditional status quo of developing countries -- live and let live. As of now, a stronger election commission did go some way to address concerns.

Theresa May’s party rules by a majority, but has been bedevilled by a string of resignations to her cabinet involving some of the strongest proponents of Brexit. Hers is an unenviable job, fulfilling a popular mandate that she personally was against. 

She has never really talked about her views since assuming the prime ministership, but it is obvious that even the famed British bureaucracy were caught napping by the sheer tangles of bureaucratic wrappings that have accumulated over the years of a common union. 

Unravelling this will be tough, if not impossible, and the added complexities of drawing the line between subservience and sovereignty is going to be as manageable as sticky tape. The murmurs of discontent are growing louder, including a referendum on the final terms of Brexit. 

Zimbabwe’s opposition have looked no further than legal challenge to state their options; Australian voters are disgusted at the way politicians are engaged in back-stabbing. In the middle of it all, Emmanuel Macron’s advice to Europe is to seek less dependency on the United States for its security. 

As a new ally, he had hinted at Russia -- condemned by Europe as having little democracy but plenty of power. Germany still smarts at the violent attack of Donald Trump at its energy deal with Russia. But the country itself is listening to the now open dissonance with Merkel’s immigration policies. 

So much for the new world order.

Mahmudur Rahman is a writer, columnist, broadcaster, and communications specialist.