The Road to Democracy

I have pointed out earlier that adopting democracy is like nuclear disarmament – there are serious costs to being the first one to do it. This does not mean that it is impossible. One possible approach is to have dictatorship at the central level, but democracy at the local level. This is best done when the central leadership is neither too strong nor too weak. If it is too strong, the central leadership has no incentive to allow democracy. As it gets weaker, allowing local democracy is a good way to contain discontent and preventing rebellion. But the central leadership should not be too weak. It should be strong enough to make a credible commitment that it can enforce the rules. BJP might be in that situation:

Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi held on to his job as Deputy Chief Minister after an unprecedented secret ballot, allowed by the party leadership, showed he enjoyed support of majority party MLAs and MLCs in the state. (Indian Express)

The other example I can think of is.. China, but I am not very sure of it.

Of course, allowing local democracy is the first step; the ultimate goal is to have democracy at the central level too. But I am not sure if there is a next step that is not dangerous.

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