International Day of Democracy

In September 1997 the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) adopted a Universal Declaration on Democracy. That Declaration affirms the principles of democracy, the elements and exercise of democratic government, and the international scope of democracy.

The United Nations after some ten years of conferences and discussions dedicated the 15th of September as the International Day of Democracy in 2007.

Today if you scour Twitter you find the hashtag #democracyday, sadly no sign of it in the trending section. Some of the first posts I found were from users demonstrating where there was no democracy – Hong Kong being the given example, Israel heralded their support of the day and the UN cited reasons why you should celebrate.

The sad fact is that democracy is not what it once was and the UN chief has an interesting take on the celebrations here I urge you to read/watch it, his understanding of a volatile situation is very insightful.

The origins of democracy lie with the Ancient Greeks and has been adopted all over the world with very mixed results, so much so that we are now mistrustful of democracy and our rights. The UK is a prime example with the Brexit situation, the people voted based on the propaganda presented to them. The government seemed to not think it would backfire on them, their mistake was thinking it wouldn’t, people calling for another referendum seem to be missing the concept of a democratic vote, you cant just have another vote because you don’t like the result, it makes a mockery of the system.

Featured image: Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly.

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