Africa Politics

Democracy: We have to Take it Seriously

I sometimes despair of the level of political debate in the UK. As the election gets closer, too many politicians and commentators are reducing complex issues to the level of insult and sound bites. Is it any wonder that people are becoming disillusioned with our system?

Meanwhile, people are being killed on the streets of Ivory Coast and yesterday there was a coup in Niger.

I am grateful to live in a democracy. If Labour lose the election, I know that Gordon Brown will walk out of Downing Street, smileĀ  and publicly wish his successor well (no matter how bad he feels inside). We can vote out governments in Britain, knowing they will leave – not everyone has that privilege. No matter what you think of the party in power in Britain, we are unlikely to face the sort of events that are convulsing two of my favourite countries at the moment.

Our democracy is a precious thing, and it deserves better than the culture of sound bites and invective that it is all too often reduced to.

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