Sunday, 29 January 2012

Elections: For or Aigainst Democracy?

What can we expect from elections? 
Free and fair elections provide good government and governance. This means that elections are supposed to legitimate the political process. The leaders we have are the result of the culture predominant in our societies' political, social and educational institutions. But, are elections a criteria for democratization? I doubt.
In developed countries, elections are a sign of progress. This is not the case in africa. Every time African countries have elections, there are tensions and deadly violence. Here is the question: are these countries technically and practically ready for elections? There are so many cases cases that have shown that elections in Africa, instead of being a step forward, are used to consolidate an existing political system. The international community should think about this matter whenever it attempt to encourage or rush people toward elections. So, at this stage, deep rethinking is important.


  1. Good point Agathe, very thought-provoking. I think we rush to push democracy and elections in countries that perhaps aren't ready for that far too often. Witness Syria.

  2. What alternative methods do you suggest, Agathe? I agree elections are ineffective if a country is unstable, but are they not an essential part of democratization?

  3. Matt, elections alone don't make a democracy. They have to be credible. I suggest, as a first step,to train and empower the media so that they can play their role: to establish communications between politicians and voters; and to play a watchdog and monitoring function. This will contribute for sure to the credibility of the polls.

  4. Agathe we face this problem as well in Ukraine. Although, in 2004 the Orange Revolution ( ) took place. The people of the country rose above and fought against what they knew was a corrupt election. The was huge backlash and struggle for a re-election. It was Canada and other countries that sent observes for the re-election and elections ever since. Unfortunately, this past election put the country back where they started, into a corrupt government. As we approach a new election this year and hope for a re-election, people in the country do not have the faith in their vote. I commend Canada and other countries for sending observers and think it is an important part in aiding the process but do not believe that it will solve election corruption.