Swedish Professor Urges Adoption Of Diverse Democracy

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Monrovia – The Director of Varieties Democracies Institute at Guttenberg University in Sweden has stressed the need for Liberia to promote other forms of democracies instead of electoral democracy alone.

Speaking Tuesday when he served as guest lecturer at the University of Liberia Graduate School of Education and Research, Professor Staffan I. Lindberg, said the practice of diverse forms of democracies would serve as the surest way of measuring good governance.

He sees electoral democracy as essential to the protection of democracy but noted that it is not the only indicator to measure genuine democracy.

“Electoral Democracy in any nation is essential, but is not enough for the sustainability of good governance because such form of democracy leads to tyranny of the majority,” Professor Lindburg said.

Lindburg named Liberal, Consensual, Deliberative, Majoritarian, Egalitarian, and Participatory Democracies as alternative and best forms of democracy that global politics need to adapt.

Prof. Lindberg urged countries practicing democracy to be cognizant of the reality that democracy s not practice the same in all countries, stating that government in those countries must commit their resources and strategies to the basic tenets of democracy for its people.

“Governments everywhere must seek to ensure freedom of expression, freedom of association, unhindered access to available and affordable health care, zero-tolerance for corruption and the prioritization of primary, secondary and vocational and tertiary education for the citizenry,” he stressed.

According to him, unless countries that practice democracy fight illiteracy and poverty, the prospect of genuine democracy would not be successful.

Presenting a Variety of Democracy (V-Dem) Report to the UL students, Prof. Lindberg said lack of diverse democracies in countries such as Turkey, Burundi as well as many Sub-Saharan countries has engulfed them with electoral crises.

The V-Dem Report focuses on three thematic areas: V-Dem Approach to governance, V-Dem 2018 Annual Report and V-Dem Emerging Findings of the report.

Prof. Lindberg is the Principal Investigator for Varieties of Democracies (V-Dem).

Speaking earlier, Sweden Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Ingrid Wetterqvist, pledged her mission’s effort to collaborate with the University of Liberia on research and other technical assistance.

Amb. Wetterqvist lauded the UL Administration for showing interest in Prof. Lindberg’s visit and emphasized the importance for university students to study and learn more about the political systems of the world, in making an informed decision that will help create an impact for Liberia.

Also speaking UL President, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, thanked Prof. Lindberg and Ambassador Ingrid Wetterqvist for the presentation, and she described it as “once in a lifetime”.

“Presentation like this is very important and I consider it as once in a lifetime for faculty and students to acquire new knowledge and skill through research and teaching,” Dr. Weeks said.

Dr. Weeks extended open invitation to Prof. Lindberg on behalf of the UL to return to the university in the future and interact with UL faculty and students on issues surrounding research and teaching.

“It is my hope that this visit will not be your last visit to our university because we will always look forward to having you in the not too distant future to benefit from your scholarly work,” she said.

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