The pandemic acts as a magnifier and accelerator (in a Complexity process) in many aspects. If we look at the current events around the world and the longer-term impacts on the democratic political system, we have to be very concerned. Democracy is in danger. Many a self-evident fact is completely forgotten. Encouragingly, there are positive counterexamples, like Frau Merkel’s apology. One hopes they make fashion.
Actually sad one has to say this…
A built-in “flaw” of the democratic system is the circumstance that politicians think in terms of the next election ahead, and the fact that the decision-makers want to stay or in power.
Politicians are tempted them to think in the short term and selfishly.
Even more than that, many give in to the dark enticement to say the untruth, or not say the truth, and to work with “spins” and unfair gambits.
Some top politicians, as it suits their agenda, freely use or hit at state institutions, destroying not only their own credibility but the trust in justice, law enforcement and police, the educational, health, pension systems and others — and ultimately in the superordinate system.
Quite a few politicians place themselves above the political system and use it for their own petty purposes.
One observes this also in business, authorities, and institutions, when some bosses forget they are employed or elected and have been entrusted the organisation. (It’s amazing how often they get away with this.)
The pandemic shows: In politics, like in many areas, tactics rules, instead of strategy. Much to much is not only party-political but oriented on personal advantage. Seemingly, as, in the long run, it falls back on the politician in question anyway.
Tragically, these mistakes and misbehaviours are substantially damaging the democratic political system.
We see the “camp” of non-voters growing and growing. We see regular, decent people join extremists, fascists, vandals, mobs in Internet forums and demonstrations. When they shout “away with the prime minister” and “the government must go”, it ultimately means “away with the system”, which is democracy.
The trust in governments, the political system, the state institutions like justice, police, schools, health and pension systems, is rapidly eroding.
Many of the current politicians are contributing significantly to this. The vision of what we will end up with is dystopian and frightening.
Politicians must wake up and live up to their responsibility for Democracy in every situation and everything they do.
Otherwise, the outcome will be the destruction of Democracy. No more and no less.
There are rare counterexamples. I am certain many are still very impressed with German long-time chancellor Angelika Merkel’s statement on 24 March 2021: She took full personal responsibility for the zig-zag course in the fight against the pandemic and false decisions that she annulled, and she apologised to the citizens.
One must fully agree with those who say what an — unfortunately — unusual act this was, and that all politicians should take an example.
Taking responsibility is not a goal or a choice — it is an absolute and everlasting obligation for all and any decision-makers.
To be responsible does not only mean one has the power to make decisions. It means one is responsible, not only for the case at hand but for the system one is part of, one works for — and most of all, for the people.
One earns trust when one handles what one is entrusted with responsibly.
And the opposite.