Our greek dream

When I had to write the other day some words on democracy on a whiteboard at an exhibition. We learned in school many times that the word democracy came from the Greek and literally translates to that the power belongs to the people. But what is the problem that we simply can’t understand the importance of it when we look around? We see people not being able or hindered to vote in other countries and we feel bad because they have to live with leaders, that were not the choice by the majority but on our skin we, my generation in Austria, has never experienced it. We were encouraged to go to vote as soon as we can from different institutions since we can remember but only in recent years the awareness about how important it really is showed in numbers when we had to face the chance of having Norbert Hofer as our president. The increased number of voters didn’t happen because we were just acting by what we have been told, it was because people didn’t want to live with a right wing president or earlier at the municipal election with a major called HC Strache. Also now, in the recent election 2017, more and more younger people went to vote and we had 80 percent turnout of voters. So that’s the thing with democracy and maybe thats the best thing: in good times we can’t even imagine what it would be without it! Democracy is something that makes us believe that we are so far away from all the absolutistic tyrants and atrocities that we can actually forget about it in our life of wealth and chances. But as mentioned, slowely the number of people who are getting to the polls in times of chance will be raising again because I believe, my generation will not accept any more inequality that the recent government is spreading into peoples mind and we will feel importance of democracy on our skin again until a future generation has to think back to the Greek when they will be asked to write the meaning of it on a whiteboard.
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Comments (1)

I like you point of view. However in my opinion it is our role and even duty to prevent those situations when people forget about the importance of democracy. Of course those of us who were born in a free democratic Europe may not realise how lucky we are because we do not need to fight for it in physical terms. But it the recent situation in the Easter part of Europe has shown recently that the “fight” is not over and that it actually never finishes. As Polish professor Władysław Bartoszewski said “Democracy is a full freedom and full responsibility”. It means that each of us is responsible for the situation inside union – no matter if we take action or no. Because inaction is also an action. I mean that some people are not interested about politics, inside affairs – they think that if they’re going to isolate from it then it won’t have any impact on them. But the truth is that in this situation the others will decide for them. What can we do about it? We need to do anything what we can to encourage people to vote – by educating and for example showing what people need to deal with in countries like North Korea, by pictures, videos. Personally I was terrified after watching the documentary about the North Korea. Another thing we need to do is the campaign against fake news. We cannot let the other countries to influence the European elections. It also applies to populists who are promising the program which just cannot happen. There should be a special organ which takes care about all of it. Of course we need to be careful to don’t change it into censorship tool. But the recent affairs from all over the world with the US elections in 2016 has shown that we need to take the action in our hands. As Mahatma Gandhi said “be the change you want in the world”.

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