HAT Forum, SAT March 12, 11am OISE. Democratic Government

Topic:  Is Democratic Government Overvalued by Western Countries in Meeting the Needs of Citizens in Developing Countries?
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor Street W. Room 2-198
Facilitator:   Marilyn Miller

With the revolutionary uprising of the people against their repressive, authoritarian leaders in the Middle East over basic issues of food prices and jobs in contrast to the lavish lifestyles of the ruling class, people are not necessarily clamoring for the abstract concept of Democracy to deliver basic needs and opportunities unavailable to them.  They want responsible, not corrupt and exploitive leadership to ensure food and jobs to take care of their families, which democratic governments in the West have delivered long ago.

Despite its authoritarian leaders and human rights abuses, China is rapidly developing its economy, standard of living, and educating its huge population after instituting strict population control of one child per family a few decades ago.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, huge effort, energy and resources on the part of U.S., NATO, and European countries have been directed to setting up democratic structures of government such as free election of leaders, internal police security, an independent judiciary system which may or may not survive when Western military forces leave.  In Haiti, immediately after the devastating earthquake followed by a heavy hurricane, much focus and effort was directed to holding elections.

Is Democracy  the only government system that can provide adequate well being such as basic necessities, health, education, meaningful work and opportunity to its citizens?

Are Western attempts  to establish democratic systems in developing or crisis countries suffering high illiteracy, poverty, insufficient food  water or natural resources misguided as an early response?

Is overpopulation in developing countries and overconsumption in developed countries in light of climate change, natural and human caused disasters affecting world food and energy supplies reaching a point of unsustainability for civilization and the planet?