Democracy in Cambodia

Reading from The Diplomat’s article on Cambodia and its democracy process, one gets the feeling that, once again, democracy is the best and sometimes only way for a country to succeed. (What is success to a country?)

After narrowly winning the election in July midst a slew of alleged election flaws, Hun Sen sworned in as Cambodia’s Prime Minister. Despite also all the failures, the opposition still managed to win 55 out of 123 seats. However, in protest to Hun Sen not agreeing to their demands, the opposition, led by Rainsy and Sokha boycotted the National Assembly. As a result, only 68 lawkeepers of the National Assembly were took their oath in Sep 13 and Hun Sen was the head of the new government.

With China’s support, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) can continue to grow and shape the country economically. In fact, its seems that business is as usual in Cambodia. By boycotting the Assembly, the opposition, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) has de-linked itself from any progress that the ruling party has promised. The other option it has is to incite mess protests and de-stabilize the system which it hopes to take lead in.

The concepts “democracy” and the “one person one vote” are actually two separate ideas. First taking form in Athen, democracy was a system where citizens spoke and voted directly on laws of the city state. However, not all (in fact, most aren’t) of the people in Athens are citizens. At the end of the day, any organization, be it state, company or family can be led effectively for any extended period of time only if the people in it are contended with their leaders. Democracy, a very abused word, has claimed to champion that cause.

In effect, however, I propose that ANY system allows its leaders to make its people content is a good system. If Cambodia needs a strong government that allows it to push forth its economic plans (assuming that the leadership really does it), it is a good system. There is no need to critize it. Not all transparency is healthy, in fact, too glaring a spotlight may be datrimantal to the growth process. The system must allow grievances and feedback to be brought to its leader and that the least of the populace is taken care of.

By de-linking itself from the National Assembly, the CNRP is not helping the country. It is only left with the option of de-stabilizing the system and thereby take control of it. How is the common people going to benefit if it just changes one set of leaders with another if neither are capable to working the system?


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