Many Countries in Africa are called third-world countries, war torn countries, Dark Continent and a host of other names. All with an underlying presumption that Africa is not democratic. African countries, like Egypt, are in the middle of coup, others like Zimbabwe and Cameroon have dictatorship of varying degrees of tyranny. Yet, still others like Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya with some-what stable government are referred to as practising pseudo-democracy.
With the rate of election rigging and annulments of legitimately held elections, imaginable in other continents, little wonder these accusations stick.
Lack of a stable democracy has been fingered as lead cause of corruption in Africa and a consequent reason for its underdevelopment and unproductivety.
Africans have been told to emulate the ideals of democracy and how it is practised from the western countries- “model democracies”- where government is of the people by the people and for the people, where every right is respected and preserved, where freedom of speech, religion are inviolable.
Well, the current redefinition marriage in U.S.A has, to a great extent, shown that the so called “model” democracy are worse than the most reprobate African autocrats and despots.
Again, take Ireland another western Country, for an example. An abortion bill was recently passed there, by parliament allowing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, where the life of the mother is at risk which notably includes if the mother threatens suicide. The Prime Minister Enda Kenny trampled over all consciences by denying a free vote within his party, demanding that his party colleagues should vote in favour of this horrific and fundamentally flawed piece of legislation and threatened to throw out of the party anyone who disagreed.
As Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute asked, “what kind of a leader is he? What kind of a leader throws a colleague out of the party for doing exactly what they told their electorate they were going to do before election?”
During their campaign in 2011, the Fine Gael party promised the Irish people that it would protect the lives of women and the unborn, this unfortunately they have broken. How many more promises will they break? Can the Irish people trust them any longer?
By their totalitarian action, the Irish Prime minister is no different from African despots who insist that their will must reign supreme? No different!
In the midst of all these threats, some party members broke rank and they were expelled from the party. Lucinda Creighton, one of those who voted against the abortion bill, resigned from her position as Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, saying the government broke a commitment to keep Ireland free of abortion. Another person, is Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames,(as she then was) who bucked her party’s leadership on Tuesday by invoking a rarely-used parliamentary procedure called a “reasoned amendment” to try and stop the bill from being heard by the Senate, unfortunately she did not succeed. She acknowledged that she was signing her own political death warrant, but said her conscience would not allow her to support a bill that ends human lives and, in her opinion, deceives women.
These are the true democrats and the heroes of democracy, since they understand, and rightly so, that their loyalty lies with their conscience and with the people who put them in power.
The Irish people in exercise of their democratic and constitutional right are calling that a referendum be called so that the people would have the final say, but the prime minister being a tyrant has refused.
The Irish citizenry are suffering from injustice; they are suffering from the infidelity of their representatives. In fact they are under the reign of the tyrants.
With this, I would be far wrong, were I to declare that democracy has failed in Ireland?