Saturday, June 27, 2009

Honduras Has Been Slowly Slipping Into a Chaotic Political Situation

by Roberto Chahin (

Honduras has been slowly slipping into a chaotic political situation. This downturn has, however, followed the well trodden path that other nations have followed into the slavery of dictatorship. History has been repeating itself in a most predictable way that should not be ignored by the freedom loving nations around the world.

The Honduran president Manuel Zelaya has been seeking to change the law of the country so that he will be able to run for reelection. In order to do this, the 1982 constitution would need to be amended or rewritten. Under normal circumstances, this is would be long, slow process given the many checks and balances written as a protection to the constitutional order. In a clear evasion of reality, the president has chosen to use a process not considered under the law, whose name has changed as the challenge to it has progressed. It was first called a referendum, then it morphed into a consultation, and later it was demoted to a mere survey, as it failed every test of legality. All the while, the end of staying in power was never abandoned given the flexibility of the means.

As Mr. Zelaya has found many obstacles on his way to his extended stay in power, he has turned to threats and ad hominem attacks, as logic and reason has abandoned his argument. He has also turned to the creation of a cult of personality and false victimhood. By seeking enemies everywhere and calling any opponent a traitor, he has divided the Honduran population following the playbook imported from other nations that have fallen to dictatorship.

The Honduran president´s main argument is that his “survey” is meant to promote a more direct democracy. History is plagued with disasters caused by direct democracy, as opposed to representative democracy. From the death of Socrates to rule of the Nazis, the tyranny of the majority has allowed minorities and individuals to become the sacrificial animals to the whims of the rulers. Under his thesis, Mr. Zelaya argues that if a majority of the population supports an illegal action, said action becomes a mandate regardless of the rule of law. If this holds, what is the limit? Is any proposal backed by 51% of the population valid and legal, no matter the consequences to all individuals not in the majority?

If the clearly illegal process of constitutional change is consummated, and the checks and balances are sidestepped, a dictatorship would easily be established as it has been in the resent past in other nations. And judging from all the moral and monetary support Mr. Zelaya has been receiving from other governments with questionable democratic claims, a walk down the road to serfdom is in his plans.

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