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The Shifting Paradigm of Democracy

By Kirtan Bhana

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18 March 2024

Launched three years ago, the Democracy Summit became a necessary discourse to examine and strengthen democratic processes and governance, which in many instances seem to have become flawed and convoluted. The Summit, currently taking place in Korea, has an ideal opportunity to thoroughly scrutinize the current systems of democratic governance and determine an outcome that will bring renewed value to a system of governance of the people, by the people, for the people.

Change is often difficult to process; it is the challenge of embracing something new and unknown, while letting go of something that is comfortable and familiar. However, it is in these moments where growth and development thrive. Looking back, it's the inflection points, the disruptions, and even catastrophic disasters that act as catalysts for profound change, spurring human advancement.

The current affairs of our world reflect conditions indicating significant and unstoppable shifts. The next-generation communication and information age have led to connectivity that creates awareness of the environment, ecosystem conditions, and an acute focus on the influence of individuals and collectives.

"Politicians should be branded with the corporations who sponsor them and their political campaigns." This analogy, comparing them to the equipment and attire worn in sporting contests, exposes a flaw that has crept into free and fair democratic processes. It has been further exacerbated by unconventional and corrupt lobbying practices that have bought the authority of legislation and governance, selling it to the highest bidder.

The deflections and diversions of politicking have been laid bare, as terms such as re-election, poll numbers, and vote rigging, and voter apathy find new meaning. The quantum financial and monetary system conjured up by corporations and captured states will have you believe that quadrillion (1 followed by 15 zeros) is an amount of money that actually exists. This has given rise to an unsavoury, authoritarian 'corporatocracy' that promote subjective research and analysis through media and broadcast platforms they own.

The dire convolution that has infected some of these 'democracies' is even openly admitted by government officials and administrations trying to allay the concerns of their tax-paying electorates, saying that the funding for weapons for the noble course they are engaged in, upholding human rights and democracy in a land far away, is all returning to their corporations that supply weapons and related products and services. This same method of monetary and financial shenanigans was brought to light when audits of several 'aid agencies' and non-governmental organizations were made public.

The discrepancies in administration continue to a point of delusion and a complete disconnect with their own policies, pressurizing farmers and the agricultural sector to conform to unrealistic practices of carbon emission targets while protecting and allowing weapons manufacturers to partner with military franchises to produce and supply explosive munitions to destabilized governments. "It's like fuelling an armoured tank that's carrying depleted uranium armaments with eco-friendly biodiesel." Military presence, particularly through foreign military bases and the impact and influence on sovereignty and democracy, should also be questioned.

Democracy or Constitutional Monarchy concepts emerged after the masses rebelled and revolted against the insidiousness and brutal subjugation by cruel imperialism and colonialism. In some instances, particularly in the Americas, the settler nationals of those imperial nations rose up against their own monarchs. When they overcame the brutality that they met during their resistance, they set up settler governments of the settlers, by the settlers, for the settlers, which excluded the native and indigenous people, some who were subjected to genocide and continued the inhuman practice of slavery and the slave trade. To this day, some countries have elected to maintain the practice of the regent of a colonizing nation as their head of state while ignoring the millennia-old culture and traditions of governance of ancient civilizations, wealth of the indigenous knowledge systems that were ruled over by revered and respected Kingdoms.

The fickleness and narcissism of our current political 'elite' that is being reported daily in our ‘free press’ point to the responsibility that comes with democracy, and its institutions should be the core focus of the summit. To examine how and why a prime minister of a country is positioned to scuttle peace negotiations and bring us to the brink of war, can be removed by the Party, install another leader for another 14 days, remove her, and install another who has not been elected into the position in a country where elected representation is key to their parliamentary democracy.

It should also examine how people's protests can be ignored by governments who are elected and claim to represent the will of the people. The focus should also center on the blatant double standards applied on the international rule of law and the complete misconstruing of the possession of classified information as has been experienced by ordinary people, and even heads of state who chose not to toe the line. Some nations are provided with copious amounts of financial aid to a point that they have become so addicted to the money and will do and say anything that the donors want them to, this while domestic economic conditions for the majority of ordinary folks continue to deteriorate in the donor countries.

There is much work to be done by the Democracy Summit. As it gathers momentum, many of the outcomes will become relevant to the current discourse on policy and governance. A true and thorough introspection of democracy in all its manifestations has triggered a quantum leap in human development that is unstoppable.

TDS


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