Road To Democracy
Democracy is a system of government wherein the power resides with the majority of the people within its territory. A state is composed of the people, government, territory and sovereignty – without one element, there is not state. Democracy roots back from the Greece wherein the common people are selected to take a positions in the government. Their opinions in the matter of government relations are important in decision making matters. At present, democracy is exercised through the election of the government officials. Usually democracy goes hand in hand with republicanism. In this system, a person is elected by the people to be their representative in the government. It is the airing of the voice of the people by that person is the actually exercise of Democracy.
United States of America (USA) has been installing democracy throughout the world. As a powerful country, USA can influence and indeed impose democracy in one country. One country that become a democracy after years of colonization of Spain is the Philippines. It is a country in southeast Asia that has been colonized by Spain for more than 300 years. When Spain and USA entered into a treaty, Philippines became a democratic nation through the help of USA.
A very recent country that US introduced democracy is Iraq. When US went into war with Saddam Hussein, US helped Iraq to build the country back on its feet with democracy. Has democracy served these countries all these years? We analyze.
Philippines was in political turmoil when they used the power of the people to topple an autocratic government – government of Ferdinand Marcos. People went to the streets and marched non-nonviolently to express their dismay on the government of Marcos in the year 1986. This was the best example of democracy the world has seen. Definitely the act of the majority to topple and install a government, a legitimate government. But this took years before the truest democracy was exercised by the people of Philippines. In Iraq, there is a struggle.
Iraq is composed of Shiites and Sunnis – Muslims of different tribes. These Muslims exercise different tradition. And for years, after the government of Saddam Hussein, the Shiites have been hostile to the Sunnis. There is violence and killings in Iraq. Clearly, majority can never be attained because of the faction of tribes and religion. Democracy cannot serve Iraq because it is not the system of government that addresses the deeply seated problem within the people of Iraq. There is no majority because the people are in polarity.
Further, democracy can only be exercised when the religion is not in play with politics. This cannot be done in a country like Iraq because their laws are actually based on the religion, Sharia Law. The western idea of democracy is separation of church and state wherein the state cannot interfere with the affairs of the government. An Islamic state imposes its laws based on religion. Their political views are also based on their leaders, and their religion. Juxtapose to Philippines that is predominantly Christian, like the USA, their laws cannot be based ideally on religion, as dictated by the USA.
The road to democracy is tough because it requires the people to be united. For Philippines, it took a long while before its exercise was done at its fullest. For Iraq, on the other hand, the struggle for a stable government is still ideal because of the faction within the nation.