Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Egypt, a Year and a Bit On

Over a year ago, I blogged briefly about the revolution in Egypt and the fact that we all should be grateful that violence played rather a small part - though not to those killed or injured, to be sure, or to Mubarak - in the overturning of the old regime.

Today, real elections have been held. However, as I listen to the news reports of the apparent refusal of the military to support Mohammed Morsi, the reputed victor,  or even to allow him to be certified by holding the results in secret until some unannounced date, I am reminded of the first line of that post: the easy part is done.

And so it appears. Right now, it looks as if the military and the Muslim Brotherhood will duke it out on the streets of Cairo and Alexandria. I hope that's not the case, and that the respective parties can find common ground which will allow the democratic process to proceed. The time to contest an election is not following the polling. To influence the outcome, a contender, or his or her party, must connect in some way with the people, offering them clear choices which will make their decision to support you an easy one. Like it or not, that seems to be what the Muslim Brotherhood has done.

If Egypt is to truly be a democracy, certify the results and permit the victor to take control. Put any proposed new constitution to a popular ratification. The test will come when the next elections are due. In a democracy, the citizens will have the opportunity to judge for themselves the success of the governing party, and then either rescind their approval, or confirm it. If the governing party refuses to allow elections, that is the time for the military to step in.

The time for influencing this election is past. Set your sights on the next one.


  1. A fine sentiment. However, you and yours have been born and raised in a democracy that has endured and adapted over a number of centuries. The Egyptian don't have that 'fine' tradition. Also, your democracy is not the same as my democracy.

    The Egyptians will need to work out what 'type' of democracy they want. Hopefully the cost won't be too high.

    In closing, you should be well aquainted with the quote from Thomas Jefferson "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Freedom IS worth fighting and dying for.

    1. I guess my penchant for not making myself clear manifests yet again!
      I was not trying to suggest the American model - or Australian, or French, or Italian, or Canadian or or or - should be the Egyptian model. I was only suggesting that once you allow people to have a choice, in a democracy they get to live with it, and changing the rules after the fact is a bad thing. Especially if it's because you don't like the choice made. I guess we'll see tomorrow what happens, since the results are to be announced.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, and pointing out where I went astray.