Friday, April 08, 2005

How to sabotage democracy

Reading Denise Dresser's piece in the Los Angeles Times on the attempted take-down of Lopez Obrador -- Mexico City mayor and leading presidential candidate -- reminds me of how elites use "legal" means to thwart at all costs the rise to power of even moderate leftists. According to Dresser, Lopez Obrador seems to have fallen into the trap, and slowly looking more like the radical leftist the dominant powers feared, and less like the pragmatic politician he has actually proven himself to be in practice.

I started this blog long after El Diario de Hoy, in particular, helped to end Hector Silva's ill-fated attempt to be the FMLN presidential candidate (in that case, Silva ended up getting the boot from the FMLN for daring to stake out a more pragmatic position on the medical strike of 2003).

Of course, when the FMLN or other leftist parties uses "legal" means to achieve democratic ends (for example, withholding votes on the budget in order to get a voice at the table, or some minimal concessions from the government), they are seen (by elites) as sabotaging democracy.

Too bad that what it means to be a democrat in Latin America today still very much depends on the eye of the beholder.


Anonymous said...

It's not just Latin America, either. One of the things that frustrated us about the Afghan electoral process was that the Afghans on the Joint Elections Management Board wanted to outlaw every single Communist- and Taliban-oriented political party on the grounds of their ideology's history-- we kept trying to explain to them the concept of letting the "marketplace of political ideas" sort out the worthy from the unworthy party, but it was always a challenge.

I do see your point, though. It seems like when a "rightist" candidate wins an election, US conservatives say "democracy worked" while US liberals condemn the election as a fraud. But when a "leftist" wins, the US conservatives can't believe it was a result of a legitimate democratic process and so it must have been "subversion," while the liberals now welcome the results.

It's too bad we have such built-in hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

What we see in the World today is a Multi-National corporate based fascist movement.

Corporations Today have more Money and more Power than governments. Money is power and they use that power to destroy anyone who's a threat. They corrupt governments, Subvert Justice, and Undermine Democracy to maintain their power!

Corporations are like pigs, they are an asset when controled with good fences (or rules), but when they're are running wild (no rules) and/or they get too big, they destroy and devour everything, they become a destructive force, dangerous to life and liberty.

Corporations are the antithesis of Democracy, they are empires of money & power, inhuman, Souless. They hate oversight tranparency & accountability, they have no love for Life, Liberty or Happiness, they love the power of Monopoly, and are fascist at heart. Their goal is "Global Hegemony"!