Monday, January 16, 2006

Democracy In Emergency

Vox Populi, that fickle beast, yearns to find an adept master, able to harness the power inherent in the people's wishes. This is the essence of democracy, and often why it falters, as after the French Revolution. Metafilter, among others, points to Al Gore's speech today in Washington, with a paragraph that brings back memories of tales told me by my father of the Indian Emergency.

"As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its actions, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police it. Once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we become a government of men and not laws."
Justice V R Krishna Iyer, writing on the Indian Emergency,

Prisoners of Conscience, 1978
?nand Patvardhan

Much food for thought.

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