Editorial

Thanks for your participation

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

People had been saying, "I'll be glad when it's over," in speaking about the lengthy and often acrimonious process of selecting public officials.

While the relief is understandable, we must also view the process with gratitude toward our ancestors who established this democracy.

Participation by the people in establishing their own government creates a more responsive, less abusive form of government than found in countries without a democratic tradition.

The concept of a "benign dictatorship" that some suggest would be the ideal form of government, exists only in the minds of naive dreamers. The phrase is a self-contradiction.

There have been dictatorships where the majority of people have been reasonably content for a number of years, but it is only a matter of time before any dictatorship abuses its power to a far greater extent than would be done by a government established on democratic principles.

Even the idea of government efficiency, the underlying theoretical benefit of a "benign dictatorship", is refuted by examination of the historical record. Dictatorships tend to have more bloated bureaucracies and less affluent citizens than democracies do.

The price for the benefits of democracy is vigilance, demonstrated by people exercising their right to vote and holding public officials accountable after the election.

To all those who took their responsibility as citizens seriously last month,