Friday, January 27, 2006

What we have here is Relative Democracy 

I find it useful to define terms before proceeding so we will do just that:


1. Having pertinence or relevance; connected or related.
2. Considered in comparison with something else: the relative quiet of the suburbs.
3. Dependent on or interconnected with something else; not absolute.


1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.

It is striking to see the opposition towards the democratic value thought to be a universal. If we are to perceive such acts as the will of the people, the same as has been promoted by the powers that be in other regions, then it follows that either the same values apply everywhere towards the same condition, else, some other criteria makes the same value non-universal. Unfortunately that criteria is unknown, or rather, unspoken.

Democracy has, to its detraction, the obvious effects of creating winners and losers. The losers of which create a minority by default. Beyond that, the perception of what is democratic versus what is not, jeopardizes the meaning of the word, and all that it stands for.

The fact that Hamas has recently won democratic elections to replace the ruling Fatah party as representatives of Palestinian rule, despite being described the world over as a terrorist organization, has managed to rally a population that saw little to no change in its condition, to elect this party as its representative. The repercussions of this democratic success are still being deciphered. Actions by various governments are being taken, as to how democracy can be dealt with when the anticipated favorites do not win.

Enter Venezuela:

Much has been written about the state of Venezuelan democracy. Most of it negative, and produced by journals that seek to discredit the validity of the government, both national and international, and echoed by governments that seek alternatives, that better suit their interests. It is for some reason that news media, and foreign governments alike, see the recent Hamas victory as threatening. It destabilizes; a veritable wrench in the monkey works, it puts into question plans already set forth. Hamas’ democratic victory has identifiable similarities to the government of Hugo Chavez. Most notably is their existence in defiance of the will of those who define what democracy is.

Non-recognition by states, who practice and preach the value, and go so far as go to war to promote it, is tantamount to the negation of democracy as a whole, thus making it a non-universal. Relative Democracy, therefore, is a conditional state dependent not on the will of the majority, but on the whims of extra-national interests, whose benefit it is to see a government favorable to them.

Gone are the times when governments could sponsor dictators to serve their interests, while they tout the opposite, on opposite sides of the world. In a twist of fate, technology – the tool of globalization – has seen that information is relayed in near real time, such that information can be given and received to ascertain truth from the fictions told. Relative Democracy is the result .

Relative Democracy is substantive, depending on the condition of the state being judged. Relative Democracy takes into consideration the value of the persons or party taking hold of power. Relative Democracy weighs that persons, or party's characteristics and worthiness to hold power. The question one must ask is: How does Relative Democracy play with the will of the people? To what extent does any population have a choice in the electoral process? How does the will of Extra-nationals affect the will of population?

Such are the questions that the new Palestinian government must face. The Venezuelan Government already knows how extra-nationals feel about that condition. A word of caution to the new Palestinian authority - Beware of the US National Endowment for Democracy - wolves in sheeps clothing.


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