All roads lead to Rome, the destination is Democracy for all! People everywhere aspire for democracy. Alas, many countries are unable to benefit from this beautiful concept. The main reason is the leaders are elected by those in the majority who are easily hood-winked by wily politicians playing one group against another for their benefit!
Democracies have taken firm roots in Western countries but are struggling in poorer nations. The expectations of the people are not met after the elections. Also, there are power centers at play that stifles democracies like in Thailand where the elected governments do not deliver, play by the rules or upset the powers-be!
The endless musical chairs of those in power are a blot on the functioning of democracy. Parties are voted in & out with none to take responsibility but only to deflect the blame for their short-comings. Democracy comes unstuck & fails to deliver. But the power given to the electorate carries the day over other systems where the people have to accept the government as a fait accompli!
Unless the people are educated to a certain level to appreciate the functioning of democracy & reap the benefits, the wily leaders will play one group against another to stay in power & get away without accountability. The military takes over in some countries & then back again to elections, ad nauseam!
The benefits from democracy can be derived only if the leaders inspire trust to lead with the interest of the common man at heart. They should have inclusive policies that benefit all strata of society & assure fair returns on efforts put in. It should be egalitarian with the unfortunate taken care of. But these basic tenets are failing or at least the enormity of problems make the efforts fail to make an impact.
The western countries also fail to appreciate the different levels of development in nascent economies & try to shove one shoe-fits-all idea to all countries. Also, crises from across the world easily torpedo poorer countries, trying to find their feet in a competitive world.
The other danger is the process of decision-making is slow with the necessity to carry the ground for short-term benefits with an eye on elections all the time. The opposition is ever ready to pounce on any opportunity to gain ground. That pits them against a behemoth like China which can make decisions in a jiffy. They have none to account for short-term debacles or to watch over their shoulders.
Democracy is still work-in-progress in many poorer, nascent countries, struggling to make an impact on the lives of the people. It is more arm-twisting tactics without giving any overall benefits to society. The only factor that keeps it going is that the alternatives are too hideous to contemplate. People seem to be willing to pay the price hoping that the system will deliver in the end! But there are undercurrents at play all the time to create anarchy & discredit the very principle of democracy.
Though each country’s conditions are different, a workable system has to evolve than the high drama that goes on endlessly, making some leaders great actors & hypocrites, the common man looking on helplessly for a turn for the better that never seems to materialize. Most have had bitter experiences of worse systems for them to cast away the democratic principles, however flawed the workings may be. Hopefully, with better involvement of the educated in the process in time to come, the tide could turn for the better.