By definition democracy is nothing more than having three basic principles : Multi-party system, periodic elections and limitation of leadership term. A lack of one of these fundamentals is a lack of democracy.
Multi party system.
A multi-party system is a political system in which many political parties run for national elections and all have the right to gain control of the government in a country, separately or in coalition.
A multi-party system prevents the leadership of a single party from controlling and/or leading a country with a single legislative chamber without challenge. In some countries, multi party politics is a collection of strategic plans and policies moving forward as a bundle of uncompromisable principles that meant to conduct the resources of a country for public advantage.
Despite this, there is no guarantee in whether multi party system would be committed to fulfill social contract in letter and spirit. But it literally boils down to the essence of democracy which is all about the structures and processes designed to ensure accountability, transparency, rule of law, equity and inclusiveness (broad based participation).
This does not mean that multi party system has only merits and has no demerits at all. No, Sir. It has advantages and disadvantages (merits and demerits).
Merits: Multi party system welcomes a variety of interests, freedom of opinion, and allows political representation and enables people to participate politics, to have their say.
Demerits: Multi-party system sows enmity between tribes and thus divides the nation.
In multi party system, the party in power sometimes works for the development of
one particular region. This is especially
seen in Somaliland where parties are always formed along tribal lines. And it is this tribal-mindedness that chiefly causes the imbalance of power sharing.
One party system: is a system of government where only one political party is allowed. One-party dominant state is also a political system in which a single political party continuously dominates election results over running opposition parties.
Merits: In a single-party system, decisions are easily made and actions are quickly taken. No conflicts and clashes of ideas arise from all problems-solving sessions. This is so because there is no opposition in the government.
Unlike multi party system, one-party system is less expensive than multi paryy system because there is no need to spend too much money on conducting periodic elections.
Demerits: In a one party system, there is no freedom of expression, no exchange of views, dictatorship plays the role, opposition voice is not entertained, and no regard for the views of different classes and interests. Thus the question that can flow from this system is: Will there be a change in where there is no challenge? Instances such as those give the impression that the philosophy of one-party-based system is that humans are not literally trained to seek continually for a change and fresh ideas. And it hurts.
If both systems have merits and demerits (advantages and disadavantages) which system is likely to be more disciplined and dedicated to uphold the essence of governance?
The important thing is to choose the lesser of the two systems and multi party system may seem a lesser evil than the abject single- party-based politics The reason is, in multi party system, one person or one group of individuals are not allowed to have an absolute power over all other legal entities.
(This is only possible in the matured democracies),
Elections are a function of democracy. Elections are processes in which the people choose individuals who represent them in government. Elections are the playgrounds at which the optimization of democratization use to begin. Elections are to democracy what change is to life. There can’t be democracy without periodic elections. That is why periodic elections are a question of democracy survival.
Limitation of leadership term:
In democracy, elected leaders have a “sell by” date, a time after which leaders are no longer considered desirable or capable. The raison d’etre is that leaders get old, weary or sick. They become senile and get out of tune with the times. Even if age does not bother them, the effects of position and privileges of power mostly overwhelm low thinking leaders till they become embarrassments to the people who put them in the office.
Leaders deserve respect when they do
their job and even earn our gratitude when their performances exceed more than the promises they made during election time. Moreover leaders deserve appreciation when they honor their term limits. Does this has to do with Somaliland leaders in terms of leadership term limits?
Yes, in many ways, it has. Somaliland leaders never respect their term limits. They try to prolong the time to stay in office. They never seem to be excelled at their urgent and immediate duties.
First, the weakness with Somaliland leaders is that they always promise the sky during election time, but never be able to deliver it after election. Second, Somaliland leaders alwayd breach the oath they swear in and break the constitution and start to rule and run the country according to their own outlook. That is, whoever is elected as Somaliland president becomes even worse than his predecessor.
Why Somaliland presidents do not respect presidential term limits? If elected leaders have term limits to stay in office, why they always try to extend their time in office?
Somaliland leaders have limited constraints on their decision-making abilities and are held less accountable for their actions and policies. They go as they want, do what they want, and even lead the nation with lies, because no existing legal entity can stop them from going astray.
Moreover, Somaliland leaders are all selfish. They have no sincerity for serving the nation. The quality of being honest and upright in character is not part of their culture. Cunning
and conspiracy are complements to their personality. They are corrupt and unkind. Self-enrichment is their mantra, and that is why Somaliland leaders do not respect limits of leadership term and fail to relinquish power on time.
Quite astonishingly staying extra time in leadership office is a matter of fortune. For Somaliland leaders, it is a chance to steal public purse and amass opulent wealth. That is why Somaliland incumbent leader always wants to prolong the time during which he wants to remain in office. The more Somaliland presidents stay in power, the more chances they have to make a lot of money out of national resources.
Why Somaliland people do not resist against administrations that are corrupt, and why do they, paradoxically, support them?
Somaliland population consists mostly of three classes: Powerful people, people who feel that they are powerless and poor people who are powerless.
These people are those whose minds are controlled by interests. They are those that always seek to get what is not rightfully theirs and wish to own more than what others have. These people are commonly politicians, public figures, government officials, intellectuals, and traditional elders of every kind abd shape, who always dine with one party one day and weep another day with another party.
People who feel as if they are powerless:
These people are real estate owners, restaurants owners, cafeteria owners, hotels owners, land lords, government employees who hardly serve the public without payments of bribes, doctors, and retailers of every kind and shape.
These people are not realistically powerless, but they make themselves powerless for the sake of their own interests, believing that they will be the only losers if peace would not be maintained by force. The problem with these people is that they are not fully aware that peace without justice could not be maintained by force.
These people are the majority of Somaliland population. 80% of these people are poor and live below the poverty line. Most of them are nomads, living in rural areas, workers living on earnings from carrying goods from store to store, street venders who, in order to vacate the streets, always get hourly kicks to the shins and fingers in the eyes from local authorities, vagabounds who visualise when violence is to happen, to mechanize and mobilize chances of robbery, elders without regular income, middlemen of all kinds, and many many others who broil under the sun by day and shiver under the stars by night.
How often Somaliland people participate government politics?
Somaliland people across the political spectrum have no say in how they are ruled. Nor do they have a role in the way in which their country is led. They play no role in how national policies and plans are shaped. The roadmap for the country’s future in terms of politics rests only with the sitting president. The incumbent administration does not share the informations of its domestic and foreign policies with the public or the parliament.
The right to information is vital for preventing corruption. When citizens can access key facts and data from government branches, it is more difficult to hide abuses of power and other illegal activities. Real domestic information, if captured, not only scandalizes corrupt figures, but enables the public to know what the government is upto.
But it is within the essence of politics that every information shouldn’t be shared with the public, because there are things that require confidentiality, particularily foreign policy which requires principles to balance democracy and dedication to secrecy.
This means that politics is a double-edged sword, one edge that keeps secrets designed to de-escalate the danager of a conflict, and another edge that reveals secrets made to control public optics.
Of course this kind of politics is part of well-tuned systems for managing and molding how the people perceive what the governments do. Heaven knows whether this kind of mentality works in Somaliland.
The onlly thing we all know is that Somaliland incumbent administration does not share any essential information with the public, and that has caused negative images.
Due to this closed-door-policy plus the less attention to seek international recognition by Colonel Muse Biixi’s administration, a doubt that lurks in the darkness even starts to linger in people’s minds these days and raises the question of whether or not Somaliland will survive and remain as a sparate state or re-unite Somalia.
This thought-provoking doubt is deeply rooted in the lack of connetivity and coordination between public and private sector in which elites and experts in a given field can meet, present remarks, share knowledge, experiences, know-how, expertise and discuss issues, trends and exchange views to reform and reinvigorate social, political and economic matters.
Today the pressing issue is not who supports Somaliland existing administration and who not. Nor it is whether or not we can take an overall review about which of the two widely adopted systems is really good or bad for Somaliland. The real issue has nothing to do with why Somaliland people do support corrupt administrations.
Today’s most heated issue that is shaking Somaliland’s existence is Muse Biixi’s appetite to prolong his term through the decades-old view that is based on the concept of merry-go-round (Illa meerayso). This concept is deeply rooted in just “I extend-my-term-since-those-before-me-extended-theirs attitude.”
On the legal grounds, trying to find a loophole around the law is an option which only smart leaders who know about law take to utilize at certain times. That is a known procedure.
But Colonel Muse Biixi’s concept at his term extention is neither attractive nor arguable
in the first place. It is a mission of meaningless routines, an aura of mystery, a self-serving agenda, a figment of a foolman’s imagination that, if left unattened and unconstrained, could grow and develop into an armed conflict that will not bode well for anybody at all.
As per usual the opinions expressed in this articale are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of qarannews.com