By Ben Kleppinger
Democracy has never been all it is cracked up to be. Democracy is supposed to be the perfection of government, a savior to the oppressed and a strong supporter of the ambitious.But democracy is more like one of the miracle weight-loss drugs those smarmy doctors try to sell you on infomercials at two in the morning.
Democracy has been rammed down our throats as the best solution in every scenario, regardless of whether it actually works.
The current “democratic process” in Kenya is one example of failed democracy in action.
Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki was recently “re-elected” over the opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Kibaki did not have to convince the people of Kenya he was the best choice in order to accomplish this; he just had to rig the election in his favor.
Analysts from all over the globe agree the election was rigged and Odinga was the true victor. And based on the real votes, he was.
One analyst said both sides were padding the vote, but Kibaki padded it twice as much.
The people of Kenya should be outraged, demanding a re-election, tearing down the walls of the capital, calling for Kibaki’s resignation.
There should be politicians, desperate to save their careers, running for cover, disassociating themselves with anyone or anything connected to Kibaki.
There should be no question that Kibaki’s career in government is over. After all, that’s what would happen here, right?
If the wrong person was elected and everyone knew it, we would be pounding down the doors of Washington in the name of true democracy until the problem was solved, wouldn’t we?
Since Kibaki was re-elected on Dec. 27, over 600 Kenyans have been killed in ethnic fighting due to outrage at the election results.
Protests raged in Nairobi for three days last week, with protesters setting fires in the streets and police using every means possible to beat the protesters into submission. But none of this actually accomplished anything.
Kibaki is the new president and his power is growing daily. Analysts say Odinga’s only hope of holding any sway is negotiating with Kibaki to share power.
The U.S. government has said it is willing to “talk” with both sides and work something out, as if it’s perfectly acceptable for Kibaki to cheat as long as he maintains a friendly outward appearance.
In what kind of democracy can the winner of an election rig the election and still be considered the winner?
The most disturbing part of the whole scandal is that no one has even dared to suggest that democracy might not be the right choice for Kenya right now.
Everyone assumes that any kind of democracy is better than no democracy. But Kenya’s democracy is only a thinly veiled dictatorship.
Wouldn’t it be better to have an outright dictatorship, so at least it’s clear what’s going on and why?
What matters is the people in power, not what governmental system they are operating under.
Rather than demand that all leaders operate democratically, maybe we should demand that all leaders operate justly.