Monday, 3 February 2014

Accept others' democracy, even if we don't like the result

In my opinion, US Secretary of State John Kerry went too far in his recent pronouncement on the uprising in Ukraine. It is one thing to object to the methods used by a government to suppress demonstrations, it is quite another to say "the US and Europe stand with the people of Ukraine". This appears to side with people who want to bring down the government by extra-political means, which have included large-scale vandalism. What are the demonstrators protesting against? Ostensibly, it is that the elected government reversed its manifesto promise to negotiate entry to the European Union. This is hardly cause for revolution, especially as the cause of the change of heart was a counter-offer on very generous terms from the Soviet Union. The government had to do what it thought best in the interests of its citizens, who will have a chance to pass judgement at the next election.

The same thought applies to Thailand. There may be doubts about the integrity of the Shinawatra family, but there have been two elections, whose freedom has been compromised only by the protestors.

Egypt is a greyer area. Dr Morsi was elected, but he overstepped the mark in attempting to force a new constitution based on the philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood on the citizens. Even so, it was an uprising which removed him and the US should have said so.

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