Though the common man anywhere cannot rest in peace till he has a say in electing his leaders, he often gets disillusioned with the promises unmet. Democracy, unfortunately, throws up leaders who are generally not the best around to lead! Either the most capable mind their own business or afraid to tread the waters of politics that often descend to the pits even, especially in nascent democracies; to the extent, some think aloud whether democracy is really that beneficial, especially to the man in the street!
Yes, other forms of government are stifling! Despite, the great economic miracle under one party rule, people in China have no real say in electing their government. In a way, it seems a hollow victory & they look forward to the dawn of freedom to elect their government. Despite loosening the controls gently without letting go the iron grip, the communist party in China is slowly getting aware of the fact that the people are not with them, wholeheartedly! But, hats off to them for the progress in the thirty years after Deng Xiaoping almost single handedly changed the course of the behemoth, thereby altering the power equations; no more a closed door society but with the confidence to take on the world with the hardware & subtle soft-power.
The US feels the heat increasingly, and en-shackled by the decision making process under the full glare of media throwing-up the dissensions & fissures. India is the largest democracy in terms of numbers & enjoys the festival spirit in the election jamboree every five years to elect the government, but the common man is soon forgotten thereafter! Wily politicians divide them in every possible permutations & combinations and the same cliques are back to power. The educated distance themselves from the action & do not even vote, generally, but sit at the sidelines, snipping endlessly, lamenting the state of affairs! Indonesia has been released from the clutches of military control and has taken baby-steps towards firming-up the democratic process.
There are other countries that are firmly entrenched in the democratic traditions, without in any danger of descending into autocracy, or worse! But the jury is still out on how the bottom of the pyramid has benefited in the poorer countries. The leaders play on their emotions, but it is business as usual for them, enriching their own coffers! The riches of the land should belong to the people, but it is mostly usurped by few, even stashing the wealth illegally from the long arm of law. It is ironical that even developed countries play it hard to free-up the shroud of banking secrecy & seen to be in cahoots with the culprits! The same bankers could be arm-twisted by the mighty to play by the rules when their citizens are involved.
There are many issues that are difficult to resolve in democracies, but the stoic common man sticks by this political choice as others are much worse & bring great misery to them. But it is sad that the fickle human nature of their leaders lets him down, often. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely; this holds true, unfortunately, in some democracies, even if they go through the due process of elections in line with their constitutions.
So far so good, but let the developed world play fair to lift the poorer democracies to give them a fair chance than be carried away by short-term gains at others’ follies & miseries! The whole world will benefit if those who play by the rules are rewarded for their patience & belief in the egalitarian system of democracy! Let the poor be not short-changed by others better positioned! The world will have lesser issues if all are empowered to elect own governments & slowly make them work!