While it might seem as if societies that operate under true democratic law are bound to be stable forever, there are problems with such systems that experts like Professor Sujit Choudhry have to consider all the time. Professor Choudhry is one of the most notable professionals in the field, and he has spent the vast majority of his life focused on politics and constitutional law. In one of the newest pieces of published content from the professor, he claims that constitutional democracies are on the verge of a crisis that could be catastrophic.
The Domino Effect of the Issue to the Political Arena
The entire argument that Choudhry makes is quite profound, and it makes perfect sense. He starts by talking about how President Trump might fire Robert Mueller, the lead investigator on the Russia meddling case. It would be clear to many experts that if Trump were to do that, he would be making a grave error from a constitutional standpoint. It would be an action that crosses a red line, much like if a president sought to abolish term limits while in office.
To show examples of how a democratic society can be whittled down from the inside, Choudhry illustrates the situation in Poland (releasefact.com). Just a few years ago, the Polish government was essentially infiltrated by a radical right-wing group that was voted into a controlling position in the nation’s legislature. This put them in the perfect position to change the constitution so that it wouldn’t put up any obstacles to their continued rule of the nation.
What this essentially means is that a constitutional democracy can only be successful as long as those red lines are never actually crossed by those in power, or for as long as there are those in the society who will prevent those in power from getting away with crossing those lines if and when they do.
For more of his views, check iconnectblog.com.
Choudhry concludes by noting that democracy itself is now, ironically, the most powerful tool against democracy. So many people agree with one form of democracy or another that installing another form of government is nearly accepted by society as long as the legality of the situation follows protocol.
More about Sujit and his work on http://constitutionaltransitions.org/director/#Choudhry
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Sujit Choudhry is a highly-respected scholar in the fields of constitutional law and politics, and he has a great deal of experience with constitutional law as it relates to changes in political systems. Many of his written pieces have been published, and his most recent piece details what could be a growing problem with constitutional democracies across the globe (works.bepress.com).
To begin the discussion, Choudhry brings up the Russia investigation led by Robert Mueller. There were rumors for the longest time that Trump might fire the special counselor, and many felt that would represent a hard red line that would represent a gross overstepping of constitutional authority. Choudhry refers to these red lines as focal points since they are used to galvanize the public against the unconstitutional actions of the government. Presidential term limits are another such focal point that is often discussed.
Professor Choudhry feels that these issues reflect a sort of failure in the democratic process. He compares the current situation in the United States with a similar situation in Poland. There, in 2015, a right-wing nationalist party took control of the legislature, and they have used their position to effectively dismantle the constitution of Poland to ensure their party’s survival and continued power.
Sujit Choudhry draws a connection between the right-wing group in Poland and the Trump administration because they have some striking similarities. He says that the presidency is in danger of becoming an autocracy, and that Trump firing Mueller would effectively be a statement that Trump believes that is already the case.
What Choudhry suggests overall is that those who don’t truly want a democratic system of government have learned that using existing democratic infrastructure is one of the most effective ways for gaining control of a government. He calls this ‘democratic backsliding’ since it’s essentially an imbalance of the democratic process that allows for a legal path to something other than democracy. This is so prevalent now because world leaders understand that the public wants democracy everywhere. For many people, simply calling a system of government ‘democratic’ is enough. True vigilance is required from the populace to ensure democracy remains intact.
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Related Link: http://sujitchoudhry.com/