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View Poll Results: Are Arab nations capable of living in a democracy?

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  • Yes!

    8 38.10%
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Thread: Can Arab nations live in a democracy?

  1. #26
    Regular Member Twilight's Avatar
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    As long us Christians and Muslims can work together peacefully then I don't think there could be a problem

  2. #27
    Regular Member Cambrius (The Red)'s Avatar
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    Arabs nations have too many internecine conflicts and manifest a propensity to downplay democracy in their socio-political worlds.

  3. #28
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    It is enough to look how difficult was the birth of democracy in Europe after WWI to see, that what is going on in middle east, is nothing unusual for young democracies, or any nation during change of political system. Remember history of Germany, Spain or Russia at this time period? Not mentioning many other european countries and their march towards democracy.
    And look at Russia, it is still not fully democratic or tolerant and it is in Europe!

    Democratisation of Middle East will happen together with economic development. The richer people get, the more freedoms and rights they demand. If they stay poor we will see mess, revolutions and dictatorships.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

  4. #29
    Regular Member Cambrius (The Red)'s Avatar
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    Only when the Muslim religion becomes less draconian will there be a reasonable chance for Arabs to accept democracy. Not likely to happen anytime soon.

  5. #30
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    In many ways democracy is a just a kind of rolling dictatorship.
    Most countries have a few parties that are pretty much set in stone and 2-3 parties that take 80% of the vote.
    While these parties change leaders they are rarely challenged in power by outside organisations (eg protest parties).

    Who gets to decide on the leaders of the these parties, who gets to decide who the candidates are, who decides on their policies?
    In the UK Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems all offered public cuts although I imagine if you could poll the entire population directly on 'Do you want cuts to the public sector?' the overwhelming result would be no.

    In the UK a Cambridge/Oxford education is a minimum qualification to be a political leader, already we are talking about a set power structure that is designed to keep certain people from power. One way or another hierarchy will manifest itself, we like to kid ourselves we live in a free open society but its just a perception of putting a ballot paper in a box that makes people think they have any say in the running of their country. Once in power political parties generally push through whatever they feel like.

    They have done research that people are only bothered about wealth dependant on how rich they feel in relation to others in society, e.g. discontent about your wealth is dependant on your perception of where you sit in the hierarchy and the distance between the top and the bottom. One of the misconceptions about wealth, that many politicians like to play on is that there are loads of rich people to tax. Reality is millionaires are a very small percentage of the population and even heavy tax programmes on them would do little to bolster most government's balance sheets (as has been discussed in France on the 75% tax).

    Anyway enough waffle, I think the Arab world is in a terrible place, I don't think their societies are compatible with Western ideas about democratic systems, which I think is fine. They should be left to figure out a system that works for them. The Chinese are doing alright and they are supposed to be communists.

    It's about stability, prosperity and a certain level of freedom, who cares what the idiot in the street has to say about the running of the country. #OverratedDemocracy

  6. #31
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    from what I understand about Arab countries the political elites are usually some group/groups that have been long established and even in places with widely held elections, such as Lebanon, only people from this certain grouping can run for office. In Lebanon the Christians control all of the politics even though the country has overwhelming Muslim majority.It was a system put in place by the French, in Lebanon. Not so sure if it's a matter of legality or more a matter of politico-culture, though.

    In other arab countries the situation is similar with a certain political elite running the show all the time. But if you look at Egypt, obviously the people themselves can change the situation if they actually want to bad enough. But it's their choice since it is their nation and the west should stay out of it.


    and despite what westerners think, places like Iran do actually have a democratic government in place, especially when compared to other Muslim nations.
    They just dont have the specific western form of democracy.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by edao View Post
    With the fall of dictators all over the Arab world, do you think Arab culture is capable of running a democracy?

    Should western nations stop trying to empose their values and cultural templates onto people from different cultures?
    From recent history, it would seem that Arab countries still have a fair way to go in embracing the democratic process. If one was to include Egypt into this debate, one could only say "NO". As for western countries attempting to impose their values and culture on other different cultures, again I would agree with you. But, in many cases, the erosion of cultures in favour of western models is happening at the behest of the younger generation which is saturated with movies, television, fashion and advertising from the west. You can't blame manufacturers of a new market opens for their product in other cultures.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by toyomotor View Post
    But, in many cases, the erosion of cultures in favour of western models is happening at the behest of the younger generation which is saturated with movies, television, fashion and advertising from the west. You can't blame manufacturers of a new market opens for their product in other cultures.
    By the same measure you would need to conclude that feudal and imperialist culture of Europe of 17 and 18 hundreds "eroded" into free and democratic culture of today.
    It is hard to blame young people of middle east that they desire more freedom, engagement in politics and to join the middle class of the world.
    I can agree that the process and the changes are always messy and scary, and might not be successful at first try or at all. For most of 19 century Europe was in a very messy terrifying state, with tens of millions killed in wars. Why would we even consider that changes in the Middle East (hopefully for the best) can be a quick and peaceful process?

  9. #34
    Regular Member toyomotor's Avatar
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    LeBrok: I'm not "blaming" the young people, it's a process of evolution. As people become more exposed to other cultures, they select segments that they like and adopt them. As for the Middle East, this area was civilised when most of Europe was still running around in animal skins. One would have expected a far more stable political situation there than in Europe. Personally, I have no view on the pro's and cons of Middle Eastern culture, and I agree that democratisation still seems a long way off.
    By the same measure you would need to conclude that feudal and imperialist culture of Europe of 17 and 18 hundreds "eroded" into free and democratic culture of today.
    I don't think it was an erosion, more evolution.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by toyomotor View Post
    LeBrok: I'm not "blaming" the young people, it's a process of evolution. As people become more exposed to other cultures, they select segments that they like and adopt them. As for the Middle East, this area was civilised when most of Europe was still running around in animal skins. One would have expected a far more stable political situation there than in Europe. Personally, I have no view on the pro's and cons of Middle Eastern culture, and I agree that democratisation still seems a long way off. I don't think it was an erosion, more evolution.
    Exactly my point too, therefore changes in the Middle East are just an evolution too, and not an erosion due to Western "decadent" influences.

  11. #36
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    Arabs can not have full democracy. At most half democracy. The reason is unreformed Islam. Democracy is not free election only. Iran holds regularly free elections and yet is not democracy. Arabs if free are very productive. I have seen some in US.

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