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The UN dedicates this year’s observance of the International Day of Democracy to democracy education. As Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says, let’s “work to bring democracy education to all, and in particular, to those societies in transition that need it most.”

I double that! Especially political education being sort of my obsession for quite a long time. I think young population of each nation (not just those in transition) needs proper political education from an early age, the kind of which old democracies like the US has a long time tradition.

I live in a country where the most of young people reach the age of 18 (and get to vote) without having any knowledge whatsoever about political principles, traditions of each party, history of politics. And yet, I live in a country where people seem to think about politics as a “blood sport” (if I may borrow President Clinton’s term) and hate each-other for whatever they dislike about the party the other one supports.

Why of course the main responsibility is on politicians themselves. Parties tend to politicize on the grounds of however they can get the most votes rather than sticking to principles and traditions. The basic rule is always disagreeing to whatever the other side suggests, no matter how much sense they make, instead of cooperating in favor of our country.

But still, I truly believe that if people would know and care more about these things, they would want to have a word in what is being done by their elected parliamentarians. As the greatest Hungarian politician of the 19th century reform era (or probably ever), István Széchenyi put it: “Every nation has the government that it deserves. If for some reason idiotic, nasty people hold down on a wise and honest population, the people will send those poor fellows to the depth of hell in no time. But if a trashy government stays in position permanently, then it is certain that the failure is of the nation. Then that nation is infamous or uneducated.”

So let’s get educated about democracy! Let’s learn how to take the best of it!


September 15th – “Today is International Day of Democracy, and we couldn’t celebrate it without YOU – the citizen. Your vote, initiatives and opinions keep it alive. Like it, share it and tell us: How can the EU improve participation? More @ http://epfacebook.eu/3Q“ 

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