The Global Democracy stressing out under the Pandemic cords

Cristina Tutu posted 3 weeks ago, 1 Responses
This essay will begin by summing up the current democracy situation at international level during election times under the Pandemic phase as the journals present it. The democratic legitimacy is evaluated by comparing its effects within the aims of the state rulers that may see the Pandemic as an opportunity to prolong their power or even to influence people to get reconfirmed on their positions. 

The unusual and forced slowdown the humanity unexpectedly received has influenced the societies around the globe not only from the psychological point of view, but also from a political point of view, as well. During the last few months, many groups have protested in many major cities around the world against the measures and actions to fight Covid-19 claiming some measures are disproportional and corroding their citizen’s basic rights.


Therefore, the question is can we foresee all unfaithful political advantages resulting from the pandemic situation?

The risen voices of the skepticism around the world are targeting the powers that the governments had acquired in these exceptional times when fighting Covid. The people responses are varying from country to country. But the election period is revealing another face of the power during Pandemic. It is believed by some critics that politicians in some regions are using in their political advantage the failure of the government to manage the crisis situation and urge a change in the context of the campaign elections happening this year in many countries. On another hand, by postponing elections, the leaders may want actually to avoid the electorate and secure positions using as excuse the fear of virus transmission during electoral gatherings.  The political landscape during Covid-19 is still in a continuous change. In some cases, it appears violent so that the fight for winning votes has become even more frantic than before, with all the stress, anxiety and mental exhaustion that the Pandemic may have involved among the candidates. 
It’s imperative to ask ourselves: Who is using the pandemic in order to secure their leadership position and impunity? What are the political consequences in the pandemic context and how far can coronavirus measures go before they infringe on democracy? ( )  Some examples of states that seem to have used the state of pandemic for their political purposes are as it follows. Fiji- the state had imposed no state of emergency as had no necessity to do so. But what restrictions and unclear, illegitimated arrests: Fiji. In this state, critics believe that leaders use coronavirus as a cover for authoritarianism ( ). China - the situation of an autonomous city like Hong Kong is at stake, where Beijing is pressing HK to pass laws that would consolidate the central government power (3). Illegitimate arrests of last year protesters happened while away from the spotlight due to Pandemic crisis.
The list continues with: Hungary. A negative example, Orban has exploited the pandemic into his benefit, through an emergency decree, acquiring extraordinary powers for an indefinite period of time and restricting human rights and freedoms. Chile is finding an opportunity to curb protests and dissent where before mass protests were rampant, nowadays army is patrolling the streets due to “emergency”- an excessive measure as we can all see. ( ) Also, in Romania and Iran, under the pretext of requesting information for tracing the contacts of Covid patients, the governments are collecting private data such as names, dates of birth, telephone numbers, hiding the privacy breach under the veil of Pandemic necessity.  In Israel the Prim-minister blocks the Courts so that he can avoid 3 criminal cases he has to face so far.
A surprising update is coming from South Korea which is likely to emerge stronger for democracy, as it had already succeeded to organise elections under strict guidelines. (4) The state had a record figure as the Coronavirus patients voted by mail and more than a quarter of the country\'s 44 million voters cast their ballots before election day. Poland, as well is a good example because held its wide-scale postal voting for the first time. (5)

Overall, are these measures used to dent democracy? (6)
It seems that they do. With elections o without it, the people generally fear the virus and are not accepting another lock-down episode; therefore, many ignore any sign of government manipulation or rights breach. The virus is not giving any fading sign and the specialists are saying that at least for the next 2 years we would be still at risks. The question that stays is for how long will the people stay obedient. The privacy rights are not seen as fundamental anymore as new surveillance technologies, drones, able to detect one’s health state, a caught or body temperature are highly to be adopted. Will these be the next Big Brother watch? Extraordinary times, extraordinary measures, the pandemic is a double-edge sword. 

Finally, we are living an historical reiteration as this is not the first time the humanity is living under extraordinary fatal circumstances. Are we able at the end of the day to create a glimpse of what the future may be?

Spanish Flu has killed between 1918 and 1920 around 4-5% of human race population. At those time during elections, the flu had a significant effect on turnout. ”There were not too many citizens well enough to go to vote” according to Sacramento Bee. (7) The times were differently technologically and politically speaking. Currently, the virtual campaigns and voting by mail are real possibilities but not all states are able to cultivate it. They would rather postpone the elections or, in order to exclude any fraud eventuality, which is still very likely in many European states - they will stay with the traditional procedure pushing people into risky situations. However, politicians are as determined as ever in reaching their gold, during times when manipulation is played behind a thin veil and people’s health globally is at risk. 
As far as I can see through the future, I believe the Pandemic had influenced enormously the political situation around the globe and other consequences are still to come, politically speaking. A solution to control these changes would be creating an International Democracy Watchdog which will be able to eliminate the fake new, reporting the global difficulties and exposing the attacks against democracy meant to create a fearless and fairer society at international level. 
1.  https://www.democratic-decay.org/media-analysis
2. https://www.theguardian.com/global/2020/aug/03/we-cant-allow-pacific-leaders-to-use-coronavirus-as-a-cover-for-authoritarianism?CMP=share_btn_tw
3. https://qz.com/1857362/china-re-wrote-the-rules-in-hong-kong-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/
4. https://thewire.in/government/coronavirus-pandemic-autocracy
5. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-30/coronavirus-sees-south-korea-soft-power-shine/12282762
6. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/20/politics/trump-assault-on-democracy-intl/index.html
7. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/spanish-flu-pandemic-1918-voting