Is democracy viable?

I was thinking in the aftermath of the Bhutto assassination that we hadn’t really succeeded in leaving a legacy of democracy behind as we pulled out of former colonies and left them to rule themselves. Then I wondered, “What does it take for democracy to work in the Third World?” Then like a thunderbolt it hit me – we don’t even have democracy in this country, so who am I kidding? Describing Benazir Bhutto’s murder as a “sad day for democracy,” as Gordon Brown has done is risible. It is a monumental disaster for Pakistan and a huge setback for world peace. A “sad day for democracy” was when Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister without an election.

So while we wait helplessly for the bloodbath to ensue in Pakistan, let’s consider the miserable state we’re in. We watch the news and we read the papers and we lament. A lying, incompetent government signs away our freedom to Europe without so much as a by-your-leave. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. They are quite literally shameless. But what can we do about it? The Conservatives only promise incremental change, a little less tax here, a little less legislation there, but our future has already been signed away to the EU. The daily diet of cock-up and corruption distracts us from the more serious problem; democracy in this country has broken down. The question is, can we fix it or should we replace it?