Francis Fukuyama on 'The End of History?' twenty-five years later: "liberal democracy still doesn't have any real competitors," but to get there... [more inside]
"A staggering 49 per cent of Pakistanis said that it did not matter to them whether the government was democratic or not. Even more surprisingly, 21 per cent of Indian respondents also said that it did not matter to people such as themselves whether the government was democratic or dictatorial. Added to the fact that a third of respondents offered no response at all, many people in countries with substantial experience of democracy or with significant experience of both democracy and dictatorship appear to share the Libyans’ ambivalence about democracy as the preferred form of governance."
Between 16 April - 13 May the worlds largest democracy will go into action. Being India the logistics are mind boggling. Over 700 million eligible voters who will vote in over 700,000 polling stations for 1,055 political parties. The BBC goes on to explain what makes Indian elections special. University of Maryland has Forecasts and Analysis and Trends in Indian Election Politics has both insight and an interesting blog roll. As Indian Politics are more than usually corrupt and thuggish there is website dedicated to information about candidates with a criminal history. Sadly in spite of this great democratic exercise, repression of speech and miscarriage of justice will probably still be around for a while.
India’s New Face. "Meet Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat and the brightest star in the Hindu-chauvinist Bharatiya Janata Party. Under Modi, Gujarat has become an economic dynamo. But he also presided over India’s worst communal riots in decades, a 2002 slaughter that left almost 2,000 Muslims dead. Exploiting the insecurities and tensions stoked by India’s opening to the world, Modi has turned his state into a stronghold of Hindu extremism, shredding Gandhi’s vision of secular coexistence in the process. One day, he could be governing the world’s largest democracy." [Via]
'In the event, it was a near-unanimous verdict for the politics of inclusiveness - economic, social and cultural - and against the rhetoric of divisiveness and xenophobia.' The 'stunning' victory of Sonia Gandhi's Congress (I) party in the world's largest democracy may force us to reconsider some of our preconceptions about India. To the headline writers in Britain and the US, it's the place that's 'stealing' jobs from the West (itself a simplification); to most Indian voters, though, the BJP's economic miracle doesn't extend beyond the major cities, serving to accentuate rather than alleviate the poverty gap. The verdict on the ground? That this is a vote against the limited capacity of globalisation to bring real change to developing economies. Some might accuse Indian voters of cutting off their noses to spite their faces, but for hundreds of millions of them, the BJP's promise of a 'Shining India' spoke of an entirely different world.