Defining Democracy Down

by Clifford D. May

President Bush’s insistence on promoting democracy abroad, critics chide, has now brought Hamas, a Militant Islamist terrorist organization, to power in the West Bank and Gaza. If this is democracy, they say, who needs it? But if elections were all it required to qualify as a democracy, the Soviet Union would have been one, since Soviet citizens regularly went to the polls to elect whichever candidates the Communist Party chose. My Scripps Howard column on this theme is here.