Democracy in Retreat: Freedom Appears Under Siege Rather than Spreading

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Democracy in Retreat: Freedom Appears Under Siege Rather than Spreading

Shanshan Chen, Reporter

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NEWSROOM – In recent years, both international and domestic events that have occurred in countries around the world have made the same message clear: democracy is in retreat.

Turkey may be the case study for this pull-back of democratic institutions.  According to The Guardian, the Turkish democratic institutions, including the newspapers, TV, and the judiciary, have not been strong enough to serve as checks on the government, and not free enough to prevent the abuses of power.  Under a sui generis political system, which granted the president extraordinary emergency powers, judicial power is restricted, since they face the threat to be removed or even arrested when they contradict Parliaments power.

Likewise in Hungary, it became a question of whether the government is going against the principles of democracy.  According to The New York Times, Viktor Orban and his governing Fidesz party and its allies won a sweeping election victory in the congressional campaign on April 8th.  Mr. Orban is known for his harsh views against immigrants.  Tension between the European Union and Hungary might become more intense, since the European Union’s core value of democracy faces a greater challenge because of Mr. Viktors victory.

In the United States, the war between President Trump and U.S. media started during his presidential campaign and continues into his presidency.  Mr. Trump described the media as the enemy of the American people,” which led to his famous phrase, fake news.  His vocal critique of the news business, CNN in particular, has lead to fears that government is encroaching on the free press’s ability to do its job.

Overall, the situations in these countries are still within control, and some might even mend themselves utilizing their remaining democratic power.  However, countries facing the democracy crisis need to realize and address the issue before it grows beyond repair.

Story by Shanshan Chen, Reporter

Edited by Maeve Sebold, Editor-in-Chief

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