The Kofi Annan Dialogues on Democracy and Elections

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The topic of yesterday’s broadcast of The Kofi Annan Dialogues was Democracy and Elections.

While discussing these with special emphasis on young people’s participation, Mr. Annan also reflected on recent issues such as Egypt.

The former UN Secretary General once again stressed the importance of citizens, especially young people who can be critics of their leaders, as he likes to put it, “where leaders fail to lead, the people can make them follow”.

He said he considers young people’s participation so crucial that he wouldn’t oppose “situations where you have to vote on a compulsory basis”.

I have to say I do agree, although I am fully aware (as is he) how that would contradict the free democracy principle. But just looking around in my country, most often I see apathy or plain ignorance towards politics. Except when it comes to complaining, but very often the people who complain in the harshest words do nothing else, don’t even go to vote.

As Mr. Annan said, the future “can only belong to you if you participate and take charge”. And by taking charge he doesn’t only mean voting every four years, but also forming an opinion (in various ways) when you disagree with how things are going in your community.

Anyway, I hope you can take some time to watch this great discussion, it is worth it. And if you have an opinion on democracy and elections in your own country, as I am sure you do, you can still take the online poll on The Kofi Annan Dialogues’ website clicking here.

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