Saturday, October 31, 2009

A thought on democracy

Why does the international community these days criticize a coup while they are quiet about the democratically-elected government's attempt to restrict free media (as happened in Madagascar before the coup) or to extend the term limit for presidency (as happened in Honduras before the coup)?

Without free media, democratic elections cannot replace an bad-behaving government. Without the term limit, the minority who does not support the incumbent may keep suffering forever. (Imagine the US did not have a term limit for presidency, and George W. Bush won the third term.)

The reason is, I believe, the lack of scientific evidence on what aspects of democracy bring about good outcomes. If there's evidence, politicians and people in the media industry are unaware of it. The international community appears to believe that multiparty elections are sufficient. Alternatively, the media does not loudly report such issues as banning radio stations in less developed countries, and so the international community realize something is going wrong in these countries only after a coup takes place.

We should stop this. And I will devote my life as a development economist to tackle this.

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