Electoral and Liberal Democracy
The author defines electoral democracies as those that have filled the positions of power through electoral means and there are competing parties for the same posts that the product of a competition for votes among the parties. The countries that come under this include multiparty democracies like Russia, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Indonesia. These countries hold elections but the outcomes of which are questioned according to the standards of the western observers.On the other hand, Liberal democracies are defined as those that have freedom of speech, right to individual and personal liberties, and freedom from political terror. What the author is implying is that the mere mention of a democracy does not guarantee these rights. It is the practice of democratic principles and the observance of the rule of law along with the establishment of institutions that support these that are the pre-condition for a country to be known as a liberal democracy. It would appear that the countries in Western Europe qualify for what can be known as liberal democracies and the others are electoral in nature but do not encompass the whole spectrum.According to the criteria used by the Freedom House, the last couple of years have been mixed for “freedom in the world”. There has been a marginal increase in the percentage of the population that is considered as “partly free” though the percentage of people in the “not free” category has not shown a substantial increase. As I have mentioned before, the results are mixed and it remains to be seen how much progress can one make in the next couple of years for the fate of the people of the world. What is worrisome is the fact that in supposedly “free” or “partially free” countries, the elections are being held in conditions that can be described as “patently unfair” and even “rigged”.