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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Democracy in danger

Time Magazine points out that globally, more voters than ever in history will head to the polls in 2024 as at least 64 countries (plus the European Union)—representing a combined population of about 49% of the people in the world—are meant to hold national elections, the results of which, for many, will prove consequential for years to come.

And yet, despite this, democracy is facing its greatest test, and its most existential crisis with a number of key players on the right seeking to subvert it to get their own way.

Chief amongst these players is Donald Trump, whose reaction to losing in 2020 was to extol his supporters to protest in a demonstration that led to violence and the storming of Congress. Now, the Mirror reports that his supporters have warned there will be a “civil war” in America if the ex-President loses this year’s election.

The paper says that many of his supporters are already arming themselves, having been taken in by the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him and being prepared to resort to violence if he makes similar claims this year.

And even the UK is not immune from this trend with the Speaker changing protocols because of threats to MPs and with the Guardian reporting that three female MPs have been given bodyguards and chauffeur-driven cars after concerns about their safety:

The MPs, who have not been named, have been given close protection by private companies and chauffeur-driven vehicles. “Many MPs are petrified by the abuse they are facing,” a senior security source told the newspaper.

Tom Tugendhat, the security minister, is understood to have been working with the Home Office, police chiefs and parliamentary authorities to bolster the safety and security of MPs.

A new process has been introduced in recent weeks in which the royal and VIP executive committee (Ravec), responsible for the security of the royal family and senior politicians, has been deployed to help assess the threat to MPs, according to the Sunday Times.

Two MPs have been murdered in the last eight years, that must surely give pause for thought. Threats like this cannot be tolerated.

Twenty Twenty Four may well be the year of elections, but it is also the year in which democracy itself is hanging by a thread for survival.
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