8 февруари 2010 г.

"Approximate" democracy

D.Varzonovtsev


The democracy in many countries of the post-Soviet space is similar to democracy only if seen from a distance.
A more attentive look would discover that it is absolutely untrue. However, it cannot be said that it is one dormant, idle democracy. Seemingly all the necessary lines inherent to developed democratic societies are at work here – free elections, parliament, division of power, multi-party system, freedom of speech, presence of various civil structures. Nevertheless, they all hardly approach the working democratic system. This is an approximate democracy. It is similar to the real one in the same manner as car Lada is similar to Renault. Both of them are drivable and carry people. But the impression they both create is completely different.
The basic problem of such approximate democracy is the relation between power and society. This relation has a notable defect – citizens and society do not have enough possibilities to supervise and correct the power and its actions.
And not because there are no channels for dialogue and there aren’t present the foreseen by the law forms of communication. The problem is that all these existent forms, channels and possibilities are false. They do not work. Media turned into voices of different and often not quite legal groups of interest. Standard procedures of dialogue with local administration are formal. The judicial system is almost blocked.
The Internet remains a unique place where people freely express their attitude towards "power". For now though - there is a danger that it will become closely watched by the law enforcement bodies.

As a result we observe mass mistrust in democratic institutions identified with real authorities in power.
The trust to politics in Bulgaria has decreased to its lowest level for the last 20 years. Many people simply do not vote. However, it is even more unpleasant that a practice of purchasing voices is spreading. After all, the participation in elections is practically the sole working channel of influence on the power on the part of the “sovereign”. According to the constitution, the power stems from the people, but then completely disappears!

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