democracy-in-libya schedule

a couple of political scientists writing in foreign affairs think that libya shouldn’t rush into democracy — that the nation might not be quite ready for it yet. i gotta say that i agree with them:

“For democracy to take hold, a country needs parties and civic organizations that bridge traditional divides.”


“[P]ost-electoral violence is significantly less likely when the country has had a chance to build up impartial, rule-based, and non-corrupt institutions, including courts, police, and other governmental bureaucracies. It is generally better to wait to hold elections until administrative institutions are strengthened, as measured by the bureaucracy’s level of expertise, its autonomy from political pressure, and the professionalization of recruitment and training methods.”

hear, hear!

but the u.n. has crazy other plans:

“An internal UN document, meanwhile, envisions a two-stage transition to democracy in Libya. The first would be a loosely specified period of time during which ‘political preconditions’ for elections — establishing public security, building public trust in the impartiality of police, and electing a Provisional National Council within six to nine months to write a constitution — would be satisfied. That would be followed by a six-month period during which the NTC would set up Libya’s new electoral machinery, with help from the United Nations.”

well, unless that “loosely specified period of time” is about … oh, say … 1000 years — AND involves libyans not inbreeding anymore, then yeah — i’d say the u.n. plan is a winner!

maybe — maybe — the libyans would be ready for some local elections (town councils, pta representatives) in about 500 years, but for national elections, i’d guesstimate 1000. Forty generations of outbreeding? sounds about right.

previously: “hard won democracy” and libya – land o’ tribes

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