When writing Democracy Kills: What’s So Good About Having The Vote a few years back, I listed a points needed for democracy to emerge in any society. Given what’s unfolding in Iraq, here they are again.
– Conciliatory and inclusive leadership of the type used by Nelson Mandela in South Africa and now by Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar
– The building of impartial institutions, strong enough to challenge the vested interests of electoral politics
– The promotion of trade and business as drivers for development.
– The creation of a tax-paying middle class whose higher levels of education and income give it the confidence to hold government to account
– The use of mentors to shepherd new governments to legitimacy. The overarching modern mentor has been the European Union, which played a major role in preventing conflict and bringing democracy to the once-autocratic East.
– A realisation that democracy is an ideal that represents fairness and hope. It is not a system of government.