Tuesday, 2 July 2013

For democracy, but against majoritarianism

The following comment by Hussein Ibish, on the current political crisis in Egypt, links with the theme of my previous post on representative democracy and the filibuster. From PBS NewsHour yesterday:
HUSSEIN IBISH: I think we need to be very clear, much clearer than we have been, with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and around the Middle East about what our values are and our interests are, and to not be fascinated by trying to understand them. They are not that difficult to understand. They are the religious right of the Arab world and they want power.

So, for example, one of the things we really need to stress is that the only way out of this situation for Egypt -- and this is a message for the Muslim Brothers and the president, and it's a message to the military -- is an election. Clearly, there was one, but clearly the Egyptian public is not satisfied. We don't have a stable situation.

We don't really have a workable constitution. We don't have a functioning parliament. All of those things require the will of the people to be respected.

And also we need to make the point again and again that not only do we have our interests, but also our values are not democracy as majoritarianism.

There are individual rights, human rights, women's rights, minority rights that have to be respected even by 50 percent plus one.

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