What were the consequences of the weakening of democracy with the Covid-19 pandemic in the world?
What is the reason for the growing doubts about the future of democratic systems in the world?
What effect has the prevalence of Covid-19 on the efficiency of democratic systems in the world?
Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 can be called one of the greatest multifaceted crises of the present century. In addition to endangering the health of the people of the world by this virus, which is reminiscent of the very deadly epidemics that have taken the lives of many people in the past, and the dire economic consequences that challenge all the governments of the world.
As a special emergency, the Covid-19 Pandemic has had numerous political consequences. The number of people infected and dying from the Covid-19 is rising every moment, and new news and information about this virus is being published, which can dramatically change human relationships. The weakening of democracy with the outbreak of Covid-19 has been one of the consequences of the outbreak of the virus.
Duties of political leaders towards their people
The world’s political leaders, in accordance with their duties and commitments to the people, are trying to use the most effective methods available to deal with this virus. In almost every country in the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a state of emergency. A situation that, according to its nature, leads to immediate, special and temporary measures to prevent a crisis from spreading. Although there is no doubt about the need for this institution, there is always the fear that an emergency will become an illegitimate opportunity for opportunists to gain or increase their power.
Long-term consequences of decisions made during the outbreak period
Some political analysts believe that nothing lasts like a temporary situation. Of course, the situation caused by the Covid-19 will end, but the decisions made during this period will have long-term consequences that will shape the future. The principles of democracy are highly accepted by the people. Holding free elections, pluralism, continuous and comprehensive monitoring of officials’ decisions, transparency, accountability of officials to decisions and their sensitivity and awareness of the needs of the people are just some of the principles of democracy that are undoubtedly the most desirable criteria.
Rising doubts about the future of democracies
True advocates of democracy are aware of the shortcomings of democratic governance. However, they rightly believe that the emergence of democracy and its care is a long process that requires relentless and universal effort. Therefore, in order to achieve a true democracy, one must recognize the dangers that threaten democracy and stop rushing into decisions and adopting the fastest ways to achieve valuable, important and necessary goals, regardless of whether they are democratic. However, the emergence and rapid Covid-19 epidemic has raised the ambiguity of whether adherence to democratic principles, which usually advise taking the time to thoroughly assess issues, to deal with the current crisis in which human life and capital Has it risked a lot, are they suitable or not?
Doubts about the effectiveness of democratic systems in dealing with Covid-19
Perhaps the Chinese government can be identified as one of the leaders in adopting tough methods to deal with the Covid-19, which in most cases do not follow democratic principles. Nevertheless, the Chinese government’s approach seems to have led to its current success against the Covid-19 and has been praised by the World Health Organization. In such circumstances, it is not far-fetched that the prevalence of Covid-19 in the world would have challenged for years the many academic debates and discourses on the principles of democracy that have led to the desirability of this method of governing. The challenge is such that Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, has published guidelines for human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe during the corona outbreak.
Some governments are abusing the Covid-19 pandemic
Some governments have taken advantage of the situation and taken disproportionate measures under the pretext of emergencies, which add to the prevailing political tyranny. In Hungary, for example, a new law has been passed that allows Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to rule indefinitely by issuing decrees that are not overseen by parliament. In the Philippines, parliament has passed a law granting almost unlimited emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte. In Cambodia, a national emergency law has also given unlimited powers to the government and severely restricted the political rights of citizens. Local and national elections have been postponed in nearly 47 countries. Some governments use surveillance technologies to control the movement of their citizens, which are commonly used to track down government enemies.
The threat of democracy in the world with the outbreak of Covid-19
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) says many countries are moving toward tyranny, and the number of threatened democracies has never been greater. The IDEA, based on data collected since 1975, said in a report this year that countries around the world were suffering more than ever from democratic erosion. Populist policies, the use of special restrictions on the Covid-19 pandemic to silence critics, the tendency of nations to imitate each other’s undemocratic behavior, and misinformation about social divisions are among the factors blamed for the destruction of current democracy in the world.
The democratic decline of countries in the period of the Covid-19 outbreak
“The number of backsliding democracies has doubled in the past decade, now accounting for a quarter of the world’s population. This includes established democracies such as the United States, but also EU Member States such as Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. More than two-thirds of the world’s population now live in backsliding democracies or autocratic regimes,” said a statement from the IDEA, referring to the backward movement in areas such as government oversight, declining judicial independence, media freedom and human rights.
One of the most dramatic examples of the decline of world democracy is the fall of the Afghan government and the rise of the Taliban in the country, and cited the February 1 coup in Myanmar as the collapse of a fragile democracy. The 2020 coups in Mali and Tunisia are two other examples of the decline of democracy in the world, in which the president and parliament were dissolved and the coup plotters took power. The presidents of larger democracies, such as the United States and Brazil, have also questioned the validity of the election results.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the authoritarian behavior of world governments. Adherence to democratic principles in the face of the current crisis is not only possible but essential. Transparency, freedom of expression, accountability, free access to information, and the preservation of human life and dignity are all principles that will facilitate the passage of the current crisis. Although the nature of the crisis is such that it requires achieving the most effective solutions in the shortest possible time, sacrificing democratic processes is by no means necessary. The decisions that are made in these circumstances will surely determine the future of our social life around the world. Therefore, they should not be seen as temporary actions that end spontaneously after the crisis has been resolved.