If the population of a country overwhelmingly hold values that are not classically liberal then installation of democracy does not lead to liberal democracy.
Most of the 104 intellectuals, former government officials and university professors who signed the document -- a rare challenge to the royal family -- were Islamic traditionalists and conservatives. Although some self-described liberals also put their names on the petition, it was largely shunned by the pro-Western Saudis cultivated by the U.S. Embassy here as the most progressive elements in the kingdom.
If Saudi Arabia gets a democracy it is possible that it will become a greater source of support for terrorists. However, it might end up getting a partial democracy along the mold of Iran where there is still a top layer above the democratically elected officials that can overrule the decisions of those who are democratically elected.
More democratic control of the Saudi government might eventually lead to a political maturation process in the Saudi populace. When one has to live with the consequences of one's own political decisions then suddenly advocacy of hardline positions has to be weighed against whether one wants to live with the consequences. Therefore it would be interesting to see just how Saudi Arabia would evolve politically if real democratic accountability was instituted.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 March 09 11:50 PM Civilizations Clash Of|