Prin­ci­ples of democ­racy in Mid­dle East Na­tions ..

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Saadula Aqrawi

Fi­nally the peo­ples of the Third World and the Mid­dle East have re­al­ized they have rights in their coun­tries: the right to live in ac­cor­dance with the prin­ci­ples of free­dom and democ­racy.

It is im­por­tant to have the right to ex­press di­verse po­lit­i­cal views, in­clud­ing those that are un­pop­u­lar. This re­lates to sup­port for democ­racy in gen­eral: those who sup­port po­lit­i­cal tol­er­ance are more likely to sup­port democ­racy and vice versa. There is strong sup­port around the world for the right to ex­press di­verse ideas and for the ful­fill­ment of equal­ity of rights for women and mi­nori­ties. Pub­lic opin­ion is a com­plex col­lec­tion of the opin­ions of many dif­fer­ent peo­ple and the sum of all their views, as well as a sin­gle opin­ion held by an in­di­vid­ual on a so­cial or po­lit­i­cal topic. Pub­lic opin­ion has changed dra­mat­i­cally over time.

How im­por­tant do you think it is for peo­ple to be free to ex­press un­pop­u­lar po­lit­i­cal views, with­out fear of be­ing ha­rassed or pun­ished? Free­dom of this sort is very or some­what im­por­tant. In the mod­ern Mid­dle East, the ma­jori­ties who are call­ing for free­dom of ex­pres­sion as­sign great im­por­tance to it.

Pub­lic opin­ion plays an im­por­tant role in the po­lit­i­cal sphere. Cut­ting across all as­pects of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween govern­ment and pub­lic opin­ion are stud­ies of vot­ing be­hav­ior. These have reg­is­tered the dis­tri­bu­tion of opin­ions on a wide va­ri­ety of is­sues, have ex­plored the im­pact of spe­cial in­ter­est groups on elec­tion out­comes and have con­trib­uted to our knowl­edge of the ef­fects of govern­ment pro­pa­ganda and pol­icy.

The most per­va­sive is­sue di­vid­ing the­o­ries on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween opin­ion and pol­icy bears a strik­ing re­sem­blance to the prob­lem of monism-plu­ral­ism in the his­tory of phi­los­o­phy. The con­tro­versy deals with the ques­tion of whether the struc­ture of so­cio-po­lit­i­cal ac­tion should be viewed as a more or less cen­tral­ized process of acts and de­ci­sions by a class of key lead­ers who rep­re­sent in­te­grated hi­er­ar­chies of in­flu­ence in society, or whether it is more ac­cu­rately en­vis­aged as sev­eral sets of rel­a­tively au­tonomous opin­ion and in­flu­ence groups, in­ter­act­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tive de­ci­sion-mak­ers in an of­fi­cial struc­ture of dif­fer­en­ti­ated gov­ern­men­tal author­ity. The for­mer as­sump­tion in­ter­prets in­di­vid­ual, group and of­fi­cial ac­tion as part of a sin­gle sys­tem and re­duces pol­i­tics and gov­ern­men­tal poli­cies to a de­riv­a­tive of three ba­sic an­a­lyt­i­cal terms: society, cul­ture and per­son­al­ity. Pub­lic opin­ion en­ables the or­ga­ni­za­tion to ex­pand in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally through pub­lic in­tro­spec­tion.

Across all na­tions, the peo­ple think they should have the right to demon­strate peace­fully against the govern­ment. They also strongly sup­port the free­dom to ex­press vary­ing points of view. It is im­por­tant that peo­ple have the right to ex­press any opin­ion, in­clud­ing crit­i­cisms of govern­ment or re­li­gious lead­ers.

For the ma­jor­ity in most na­tions, it is very im­por­tant to live in a coun­try that is gov­erned demo­crat­i­cally. There is a wide vari­a­tion in per­cep­tions of how fairly eth­nic, re­li­gious and na­tional mi­nori­ties are rep­re­sented in na­tional leg­is­la­tures, although over­all data lean to­wards mi­nori­ties not be­ing fairly rep­re­sented.

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