Another Go at Democracy

It sounds a stupid question, but will it take another revolution to bring democracy to Egypt? THe Egyptian revolution was one of the most dramatic of the Arab spring, and although there was some violence it did not degenerate into the civil wars of Libya and Syria.  The problem is that many of those protesters are feeling a little short changed. Instead of the democratic, libertarian leading their country out of economic disaster and the rule of a dictator they have Mohammad Mursi.


The problem, and as far as Egypt’s future goes it’s a big problem is that this president was elected.  Not only that he was elected in one of the first fair elections in the country’s history.  So what do you do, if your choice seems to have let you down?  There is an argument, and a pretty good one too that you should make changes at the ballot box.  If everyone started a revolution when they were fed up of their leaders, their would be only one result – world wide anarchy.

Mursi was elected fair and square, sure he might be doing rather badly, might have broken a few promises and neglected the odd pledge – but he certainly isn’t the first politician to do that!  However the Egyptian fledgling democracy is not quite what the protesters expected.  Democratic leaders don’t dissolve parliaments, they don’t force through constitutions which ignore huge sectors of Egyptian society – mainly the secular.

However democratic leaders also don’t arrest the opposition and throw them in jail.  They certainly don’t convict over 30 democratic volunteers and sentence them to several years in jail for the crime of conducting voter education efforts. A democracy is not a place where anyone who wants to communicate online spends their lives looking over  their shoulders and trying to find the best VPN software to keep them safe. It’s probably the same as the UK Government rounding up people selling Socialist Worker and throwing them in jail.

The Egyptian revolution has gone badly wrong, the protesters trusted that an Islamic party – The Muslim Brotherhood would look after all the people in Egypt not just muslims.  This doesn’t seem to be the case, the fear, the corruption that the country suffered under Mubarak is still here, just a different flavour. My blogger friends in Cairo still fear the police and use proxies like this German one – in order to speak their mind.