Monday, October 24, 2011

Egypt under Mubarak receives 0 percent for Electoral Fairness

Executive Summary:

Egypt's Arab Republic electoral system under Hosni Mubarak received an overall score of 0 percent for electoral fairness. The score means that Egypt's electoral system under Mubarak is completely unfair. FDA auditors could find no element of fairness in the four sections of the audit: political of content of media, candidate and party influence, electoral finance, and voter say. Through the legislated exclusion of particular Egyptian political parties, severe infringement of citizen freedoms and political and human rights, state control of media political content, and lack of public transparency of electoral finances, Egypt's electoral system under Mubarak is undemocratic. Any elements of fairness such as caps on presidential candidates' electoral expenditures and the equality of political content of state media during the election period are canceled out by more significant unfairness such as the state's ban on societies which are inconsistent with state ideology and national order, or the state imprisonment of journalists who question the financial integrity of government officials, or the state removal of political rights of any citizens who are convicted of making false statements in the news, or the state registration of only political parties which promote national unity and social peace, and support the Constitution, and thereby do not challenge Mubarak and the National Democratic Party's hold on political power.

2011 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Report on Egypt

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Religion and Democracy in Egypt

Last night FDA auditors met to audit electoral fairness in Egypt under Hosni Mubarak.

The audit reached a point of contention from Article 3 of Law No.40 of the year 1977 Concerning the Political Parties System and its Amendments, which states,

"The state bans political parties which are based on religious, class, sectarian, categorical, or geographical basis, or on the exploitation of religious feelings, or discrimination because of race, origin, or creed."

FDA auditor #1 viewed Article 3 as fair, because religious based parties should not be part of democracy, because they are based on membership and thereby exclusionary.

Other auditors #2 viewed Article 3 as unfair, because it limits the electoral choice of the people and excludes political parties from the electoral process. Viz., the will of the people should be the ultimate decider of who governs society. If the will of the people wants a religious based party then that should not be circumvented.

Auditor #1 replied that religious based parties would lead to tyranny of the majority, and they would use religion as the sole basis for moral and ethical decisions and thereby discriminate against other religious groups and non-religious groups.

Auditors #2 responded that the Constitution and any bill of rights of the country are in place, in part, to protect minority interests. Also, the moral and ethical codes of a society are subjective whether they are religious based or not, and that many secular moral and ethical codes have their roots in religion.

If a religious based party respects the Constitution and fundamental human rights then why should the religious party be disallowed the opportunity of governing society?

In the case of Egypt, it states clearly in the Constitution that the country is Islamic:

Article 2
Islam is the religion of the State and Arabic its official language.
Islamic law (Sharia) is the principal source of legislation. (Source: Egypt Constitution of 1971, Amended 2007)

Why is it fair for Egypt (under Mubarak) to ban religious based parties?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

FDA Global Electoral Fairness Audit Report on Afghanistan

Afghanistan received an overall failing score of 23.75 percent for electoral fairness. The score means that the constitutional and legislative basis for Afghanistan democracy is bordering on significantly more unfair than fair. A passing score is 50 percent. The Afghanistan score is only 6.25 percent lower than the score for the United States and 67 percent lower than the score for France. Out of 27 countries, Afghanistan ranks 17 for electoral fairness. Although Afghanistan democracy has elements of electoral fairness such as freedom of expression and assembly, advanced political rights for women and disabled persons, and regulation of mass media during the electoral period, these elements are more than offset by unfair elements. Within the core of Afghanistan's political system are severe favoring of wealthy Afghans and the privileged, educated Afghan tier of society. Opposition parties do not have a reasonable chance of forming government. The FDA believes based on its research and audit that the Afghan political system is set up to keep the Karzai regime in power, while on the surface may appear to be free, equal, and fair. Consequently, the FDA concludes that the Afghan political system is authoritarian within the shell of democracy.

2011 FDA Global Electoral Fairness Report on Afghanistan

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Media, Democracy, and Venezuela

On October 1, 2011, Stephen Garvey, FDA founder and executive director, interviewed Dr. Maria Piez Victor about media, democracy, and Venezuela. Dr. Victor, based out of Toronto, Canada, is a founding member of the "Louis Riel" Canadian Bolivarian Circle, has a Ph.D in Sociology from York University, and is an outspoken Venezuelan expatriate on President Chavez and Venezuelan Democracy. The interview is an hour and eighteen minutes in length, and covers a range of issues from international media malignment of President Chavez and the Venezuelan government, and US psychological warfare ongoing in Venezuela with the purpose of destabilizing the Venezuelan government and weakening its credibility with the Venezuelan people.

The FDA interview of Dr.Victor will likely adjust your view of Venezuela and the world.

FDA Interview of Dr. Victor

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Afghanistan Democracy a Shell Around Status Quo

A team of nine FDA auditors convened last night to audit the constitutional and legislative basis for Afghanistan's Islamic Republic electoral system.

The FDA auditors gave Afghanistan's democracy the following scores:

Political content of media: 50 percent

Candidate and party influence: 22.2 percent

Electoral finance: 0 percent

Voter say: 22.5 percent

Total audit scores: 23.75 percent (out of 100 percent)

Despite elements of electoral fairness such as restrictions on the political content during the electoral period and regulations to support women and disabled persons electoral rights and participation, Afghanistan democracy supports significantly wealthy Afghans and the privileged, educated class in Afghanistan.

The FDA auditors concluded that Afghanistan's democracy is a mere shell of democracy, within an authoritarian regime backed by America and its allies. The Afghan democracy is set up to maintain a regime in power favorable to the USA, while give the impression of a legitimate, fair democracy.

The FDA's report on Afghanistan will be posted on October 10th.