Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The price of democracy?

Muslim Brotherhood logo
"The dark ages are staging a comeback via the age of enlightenment." So begins a column in the National Post where George Jonas muses about the Egyptian Crisis. In Opening a back door to theocracy, Jonas suggests that it may be goodbye Hosni, which leads ultimately to hello Hamas.
Democracies have done this before, yielding to religious or non-religious dictatorships, especially when limits are not adhered to. Yes, Mubarak's 30 years have been dictatorial, but the implication is be careful what you wish for.
Jonas suggests that recent comments by Obama have not helped. Actually it was the comments that Obama didn't make that might lead to problems. Obama didn't say how the current uprising would lead to an orderly transition. He didn't say how the past and present unorganized opposition would suddenly get organized. Most importantly he didn't say how these protests would prevent handing over Egypt to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Of course we would say that is the price of democracy, the people may choose and sometimes those choices are not wise. In limited democracies where there are checks and balances, where orderly transitions can and do occur, mistakes can be corrected. Just remember, the Muslim Brotherhood needs only to be elected once.   

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