Friday, December 25, 2009

76 Ministers

The structure of a democratic consists of three governing powers: legislative, executive and judiciary. A real democracy is established when each of these three powers executes its own duty properly on its own accord. They create basic conditions that protect individuals’ lives, liberties and property so that citizens can peacefully reap what they sew.

In places where the three powers get comingled, the state faces a crisis and that often becomes the reason for demonstrations and chaos. A small group of the population plunders the nation’s wealth while the majority becomes poor. Then a time comes to completely change this condition by the root.

In Mongolia, a small group of people, in the name of political party agendas, compete for power in order to pursue their personal (and business) interests. They mix the three systems up so much so that in the end it is difficult distinguish one from another. There is no use in even discussing our judiciary system, as the President himself who promised to clean it, got lost in the problems. The other legislative and executive powers have merged together so strongly that one of them has almost disappeared.

The take-over of the executive power by the legislative branch, which starts to occur when members of the parliament become cabinet ministers, has recently reached a whole new level. Each will be entitled to spend one billion tugriks from the budget in own constituency. Thus, everyone in the Mongolian parliament is frantically seeking for labels of fame and wealth to stick on their chests all at the cost of taxpayers’ expense. This “pandemic” is going to infect the city hural and is also spreading further into aimag representatives. The direct or indirect transfer of budget spending rights into the hands of parliament members proves the nonexistence of the executive system and the duality of all seventy six members of the parliament as cabinet ministers by form and substance. This is not a new phenomenon for Mongolians: majority of the cabinet already serves in the parliament anyway.

In Mongolia’s near future, the state revenue will increase with the rise of the world-market price in our abundant mineral commodities. At that time, the political fight for distribution of revenues will heat up and the crisis in political power will deepen. As a result, every leader and his allies in each of the three powers will take over the entire wealth of the country as well as the political power. The rest of the population including their children will work for these leaders and their off-spring forever. At that time there will be no principle difference between who is the Prime Minster, or President or which political party is in power, since all will be selected by a group of a few individuals and their families under a staged election. Such has already been the case in other such defacto democracies.

The voting power of the poor is easily bought. If large demonstrations are needed, they will put red or yellow t-shirts on the people, flags in their hands and some small money in their pockets for a few days’ food to close main roads and squares or block the airport.

There is a “democracy” where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Wealthy people’s power slowly starts to dominate since quality education becomes too expensive for the poor. The difference in the living standard of the two groups will be like sky and earth forming a new layer of extremes in both poverty and wealth.

A “Puppet democracy” becomes established in countries where the three powers of the government are not independent and where people cannot fully understand, monitor or protect the value of democracy, i.e. where civic societies have not matured. One of the best examples of this kind of democracy is the Philippines. It is the first republic in Asia to establish a democratic constitution in 1902 and where the poor people are still as much as a majority today, as they were then. The political and economic powers of this country, which has gone ahead of us on the same road, are in the hands of a dozen families. The only difference with us is that the weather is not as cold these so there is not suffer from smoke, as we do here in Ulaanbaatar.

So far, it looks like Mongolia’s current political crisis, combined with Ulaanbaatar’s smoky and disastrous conditions, does not show any signs of clearing up in the future.

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