by: XHABIR DERALLA
Reading the report from the survey of the International Republican Institute (IRI), in the Chapter “Rule of law, government and social cohesion”, I came across the question “Do you believe that democracy is the best possible form of governance for your government?”. The answers were staggering!
Certainly, I have in consideration the big problems with surveys and other forms of measuring the public’s pulse, that is, the public opinion on certain topics. Around the world, and hence in our country, some people (those surveyed) don’t tell the truth.
But no matter how much they don’t tell the truth, still, the results from the responses to the questions on democracy are shocking. I kept returning to the slide of IRI’s extensive report, to check if I was right, but at the end I concluded that my eyes were not lying.
According to IRI, 51% of the respondents say that democracy is the best possible form of government for our country, though 24% think that democracy is not the best form, that rather there are also other forms of government that could be equally good for our country. These 24% are joined also by 17% of respondents who say that there are other forms of government that are better than democracy! As much as 8% didn’t know or refused to reply to the question. Refraining from replying to such a question on core values can mean that you can freely add those 8% to the 41% who don’t believe in democracy as a form of government.
If IRI’s survey precisely or at least somewhat precisely reflects the opinion of the population, and even if it’s 50% mistaken (which is, however, doubtful), society has a problem. And not only this one, but any society in which you have a big percentage of the population that believes that democracy is not the best model of governance, and that there are even models that are better.
Even though the majority of 51% think that democracy is the best form of government, honestly, I can’t and I don’t want to believe that there are so many people who don’t think that democracy is the best way of governing. Perhaps they have misunderstood Churchill, who once said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have already been tried”. Perhaps they have not read the sentence to the end…
Accordingly, almost half of the people (respondents) don’t believe in democracy. According to them, there are other forms of government that are just as good, and even better. Are autocracy, totalitarianism, demarchy or anarchy better forms of government? Dictatorship? Military or police junta? Maybe some form of theocracy, emirate, sultanate, monarchy?
Do people know what the very term of democracy really means? With several thousand non-governmental organizations, several hundred media, with around fifty active political parties, with universities, state and private ones, thousands of schools with thousands of professors, spread across the entire country… How can we have come to such a situation? For me, this means nothing else but that all of us together are failing in our work to such an extent that we need to start all over again. Which is impossible.
If it’s any consolation, we are not the only society in which doubts about democracy are widespread. Jascha Mounk, a Harvard University lecturer says that “liberal democracies around the world are facing a serious risk of decline”. Especially the youth, namely, the Millennium generation, differs drastically in their views from the older generations
As to the question of whether a military coup would be acceptable in order for countries where the government is not doing its job to be able to cope, 53% of the older generations in Europe think that such a step would be illegitimate, while only 36% of the young people oppose to the idea of a military regime.
On the other hand, autocratic regimes connect and support each other and promote non-democratic forms of government through systematic and richly financed propaganda and intelligence operations. The backward, ultimately right-wing populism is one of their main weapons.
We should think about these issues. Indeed, Bertrand Russell said that “Democracy; the fools have a right to vote. Dictatorship; the fools have a right to rule”, but with such ignorance we can expect only that the “fools” expect only “fools” to rule and no one else. If I were religious, I would say, may God help us.
translation: N. Cvetkovska