22 April 2007

Democracy... in the Middle East

Pop quiz... when is a dictatorship actually "a democracy"?

Answer... When Baath Party leader and President Bashar Assad says it is...

Unlike the polls in Nigeria or France, there is almost no contest and voters are not showing much interest.

But in Syria, in effect ruled by one party, there is no room for real politics, says the BBC's Kim Ghattas, a situation reflected in widespread apathy among the electorate.
But they have a parliament... it must be a free and democratic land.
Adding to voter apathy is the mostly nominal role of the parliament - it cannot give or withdraw confidence to the government; it cannot draft laws, only debate those sent to it by the government; and it has no say in foreign policy.

Its first task will be to approve the Baath Party nomination of the president, Bashar Assad, for a second seven-year term.

Mr Assad will be the only candidate in a July referendum.
Okay... I get it. It's one of those "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" democracies the lefties are always holding up as modern day political miracles.

The ones, curiously enough, nobody... including Maher Arar... wants to live in.

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Anonymous said...

Dictatorships are socialist 'democracies' - simply bullshit & platitudes in other words, all meaningless like Jack Layton - except for the nasty streak.

RGM said...

Technically, Egypt--the West's staunch Middle Eastern ally--and Iran can also be labelled "democracies" if one were to accept at face value the fact that they have elections. Sure, Egypt's was widely rigged and thus Hosni Mubharak was re-elected with 90% support; and, sure, the ayatollahs allow Iranian citizens to "choose" from people they've screened and approved of, but they're democratic states. Almost makes you want to puke, doesn't it?

Neo Conservative said...

"RGM said... Technically, Egypt--the West's staunch Middle Eastern ally--and Iran can also be labelled "democracies"... almost makes you want to puke

and that's some technicality, huh?

"The government periodically conducts arrest campaigns of homeless or truant street children who have committed no crime."

"In custody many face beatings, sexual abuse, and extortion by police and adult suspects, and police at times deny them access to food, bedding, and medical care.

and don't get me started about iran...

"The last victims, for example, were a young couple engaged to be married who the killers claimed were walking together in public."

religion of peace, my ass.