International Democracy Day

In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights enshrines a host of political rights and civil liberties underpinning meaningful democracies.

The link between democracy and human rights is captured in article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Quotations on Democracy:

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Winston Churchill

Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.

Plato

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

George Bernard Shaw

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.

Charles Bukowski

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

John Adams

Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who’ll get the blame.

Bertrand Russell

Guru’s Comment

Whilst the above are funny and quite true democracy is under threat.

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in major challenges globally, and the Ukrainian conflict and the rumblings of China are reminding us that our democratic principles are constantly being eroded.

This year, Democracy Day is focusing on the importance of media freedom to democracy, peace, and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.  whilst this is laudable it is the media in democratic states that is full of misinformation and disinformation and peddling the what Western oligarchs want us to hear. If the press is so essential to democracy then journalistic freedom and more importantly integrity needs to change drastically.

In fact, now more than ever Democracy is backsliding, civic space is shrinking, distrust, mis- and disinformation are growing while threats to the freedom of journalists and media workers are expanding by the day.

I agree that when media freedoms are under threat – the flow of information can be stifled, skewed or cut off entirely. Increasingly, journalists around the world face limits to their ability to operate freely – with a grave impact on human rights, democracy and development. But please as a group improve you own professional integrity.

In addition we need to take responsibility for our own democracy. It has never ceased to amaze me that the people of the United States are very quick to respond to countries whose democracy is under threat but at election time cannot be bothered to cross the road to vote.

In Australia we see our compulsory voting as a chore and at our last Federal voting the increase in the “donkey vote” and ineligible ballots was very high.

Michael Moore once said Democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s a participatory event. If we don’t participate in it, it ceases to be a democracy.

2 thoughts on “International Democracy Day

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