Disappointed at EDP meeting in Bahr Dar


Desta Takele, 07/06/09

When I decided to attend the meeting EDP called in Bahr Dar, I was hoping to hear new, fresh, thoughts and better alternatives how to tackle the major problems and provide solutions for what the country is facing today and for the near future. However, I end up hearing the usual old, boring; nothing to do with millions of Ethiopian daily lives i.e. Article 39, and Ethnic based federation that was dealt with constitution.

 I was hoping Ethiopian politics will move from dogmatic belief to issues that are affecting people in their daily lives. I was hoping to hear how this transformed third choice party (it says) would:

·         End Ethio –Eritrean stalemate border issue

·         Deal with Somali crises that is threatening Ethiopian security and become a breeding place for terrorism

·         Fix Powers shortage that cripples Ethiopian daily lives and Business community and hurt Ethiopian Economy

·         Bring economic growth , reduce the cost of life, stabilize the economy

·          fight corruption  that is eroding long held values and lose faith in government

·         Create jobs (how many, what kind of jobs, how will they pay it) for millions of hopeless young people.

·         Open Hospitals , Schools , Universities ( how many ,  where , how and where will they got the money)

·         Establish good governance with modern and professional  law enforcement

·         Establish a strong defense ,  equipped with modern technology in volatile region

·         Control over overpopulation, which is the main source of our poverty. (This nation produces more people every year than the rest of the World while begging for food every year. The World does not understand this irresponsible behavior and thinking, a behavior and thinking shared by so-called learned ones. A learned who thinks making babies as many as they can is an achievement of life) and some other issues that are the concern of the people.

However, Ato Lidetu was talking the difference between liberalism (EDP’s choice) and Revolutionary Democracy.

Another problem I got was besides to issues, when he said that Liberalism and Revolutionary Democracy cannot co-govern together, the two is completely different, and either liberalism or Revolutionary Democracy has to rule.

Here we go again,  a zero sum game, which is the backward , undemocratic  belief that destroyed our country for decades.

If EDP wants to establish democracy in Ethiopia and believe in Democracy, which is multiparty system, then different parties from different political spectrum have to co-exist and  share together  the government if there is no an automatic winner. Even if there is automatic winner, it does not mean it will create  a majority dictatorship. That is parties can co-govern and co-exist.

That is what Democracy is about having differences but living and working together with differences. That is what the rest of democracies do, for example  India, a communist party ( that stopped the nuclear deal with US) was a part of the governing  party,  How about Israel , different  parties from left  to right  form government , how about Italy, and the rest of parliamentarian democracies. I hope EDP and Ato Lidetu will polish their understanding of Democracy before too late for them.

If they want to be third choice as they claim to be, let them have clear understanding of democracy and come up with better alternatives for our major issues, not the tiresome dogmatic ideology and an old  issues but have no impact in daily life.

 What does article 39 do for unemployed? Is it because of article 39, Eritrea Seceded?  Can any other ethnic secede, have an independent viable, and prospers nation, If the Eritrean could not make it? If we could not make as together (Ethiopian), can we really make it as separate? For me, it is not an important issue today that worth time.

Despite I did not hear what I expected, I  appreciate EDP for contributing  for establishment of democracy through dialog,  exchange of ideas,  free expression of opinions in a country that is alien for democracy and in a society , that is allergic for debate because of insecurity in their  belief. Unlike those some irrational hater, contributing nothing Diasporas, I am better off with EDP.