Two party states and hung democracy

During the last decade many democracies were stuck in a state of political paralysis when elections failed to deliver a clear winner to rule the country. There were repeated incidents of hung parliaments, and disputes over elections results. In some cases these disputes escalated to violent confrontations. These repeated incidents might be an indication to a systematic error in thevery functionality of democracy as we know it.
The decade started with a dispute over presidency between the two candidates for the presidency of the United States, George Bush and Al Gore. The issue found a resolution by a controversial court order. Right now, the leaders of the two major parties in Iraq Eyad Allawi, and Nouri Al-Maliki continue their argument over the results of the elections in the country, and are still failing to form a government. Perhaps this error was passed down to Iraq inside the genes of the US-made democracy.

Examples are many. Recently, we’ve seen a hung parliament in the UK. Following the elections there, neither of the major two parties was able to form a government by itself. Eventually, a small portion of the elected MPs became the
king makers, and the influence of the nation over the outcome of the elections was defected and disproportionate.

The same scenario repeated again and again throughout the past decade, in Germany, Israel, and most recently in Australia.

This pattern leaves us with no choice but to question our concept of democracy. Is it still working? How dangerous can these ‘errors’ in the democratic system be? Do we need to revise democracy? Democracy, without a doubt, is not a perfect system. It would even be undemocratic to assume that democracy is perfect. However the best thing about
democracy is its flexibility, and its ability to correct itself. If democracy can adjust and correct itself, that means that it is working, otherwise it might not be present in the first place.

The need for revision is obvious. There were incidents when this error in the democratic process has worked as a destructive force for democracy and for nations. The best example for that is what happened in Ukraine in 2005. Back
then, the whole nation was divided almost 50/50 over which side the country should go – East towards Russia, or west towards NATO. The political struggle climaxed after the election, driving the country to the edge of civil war. The
democratic system there barely made it without bloodshed. Next time, who knows if it will be as smooth and peaceful, and who knows where it will happen.
At a glance, it appears that the current system has two major problems. First, it only theoretically gives the right to run for president or parliament membership to anyone with certain conditions. In practice, however, only parties with established voters’ bases have the ability to nominate a potentially successful candidate, with rare exceptions of  course. That leaves the voter stuck with two choices only in most of the time. These choices are rarely made based on which one is better, it is almost always about which one  is less evil.

Secondly, I think that existing democracies only give the voters the right to choose the people who will be in power, but it fails to give voters the right to override the decisions of their leaders AFTER they are elected. Parliaments
can monitor legislation passed by the president, but the same principle applies to them as well.

In many occasions, millions of people protested against decisions taken by their elected leaders without any positive outcome. We all remember the protests against the war on Iraq that took place in the US and in Europe. How did that affected the decisions taken in that regard?

Moreover, what if a president or an MP decides to sell his vote for money to pass a bad legislation? What if he doesn’t care if he will be re-elected? What if two parties agree to pass legislation in exchange for a compromise on another legislation, both of which will be destructive for the country? How many times this actually happened?

The public should have more power over the decision making during the actual process of decision making. People can’t afford to wait for elections day to ‘punish’ those who fooled them by voting for the other liars! This way people
will have a voice to be heard when a controversial issue is raised. This way people it will be easier to choose the less of evil candidates because they know they will be able to influence his decision making.

More importantly, this way parties will be able to form governments easier, because they know that the ultimate ruler will be the public. With all the technological advancement that humanity has developed, we can figure out a way to do this, but only if we are really determined to do it.

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