Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Hamas was victorious in a free and fair election. Never mind what you think or read in the press about Hamas, but the people have spoken: they're sick to their spotted kefiyyehs about the self-seeking, power grabbing, compromising PLO - so out with the corrupt them and their fellow travellers. They've been told that democracy was the best way to choose a government, and they acted on it. Look what's happened to them now.
But to be fair, even Arafat was placed in his position by popular vote too. He died a man reviled by the West who're now quick to sell this democracy panacea to anyone they're keen to overpower. Of course this is a cynical view of democracy and its keen advocates, but take a minute, look at their credentials.
So what's happened to the poor people of Palestine now? Slow death by starvation is an unfortunate phrase to describe the plight of a people who're dying as you're reading this now. The US of A were quick on the draw, no Hamas no money now. Israel of course joined in with alacrity, withholding money that is due to them, to the tune of US$100 million. Why? To teach them for having the gall to flirt with the wrong kind of democracy.
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, himself a man embattled, once said — quoting another — that if elections worked they'd ban it from the people. The Algerians tried to be democratic, and tried to vote in the Islamist FIS, and how they came down on them, including the pamphlet-distributing French embassy that distributed leaflets urging people not to vote the way they wanted to. And then, of course, the people who voted in FIS were outvoted by the people who'd urged democracy on them as a panacea. In Turkey the army are standing by in case democracy becomes too popular.
And then well, ahem, that archangel of democracy himself, the man from the burning Bush, was himself voted in, not by votes but by a strange brew of hocus pocus called 'chads', in a state controlled by his brother. How far removed is this from those glorious days when countries like Egypt were on a high roll? When sitting Presidents were voted in by a mere 99.9% of the people? I promise you, once they've found ways to create phantoms, purchase votes, bully and cajole and gerrymander, they'll make voting a racket for the world.
And it will come soon, in a democracy near you.