Les élections ne suffisent pas

Il ne peut exister d'ordre libéral sans démocratie politique, mais aujourd'hui on nous rappelle fréquemment que la démocratie politique seule ne garantit pas un ordre libéral. Des élections libres et justes peuvent placer au pouvoir un président iranien qui veut “rayer Israël de la carte du Moyen-Orient.” Ou un président vénézuélien dont l'intolérance à l'égard du monde des affaires provoque un ravissement populaire, mais également la fuite de ceux dont l'initiative est cruciale au bien-être du peuple. Problématique aussi, bien que provoquant moins de dégâts, l'élection comme en Pologne d'un gouvernement minoritaire qui poursuit sans merci les intérêts personnels de ses membres et manque à toutes ses promesses de coopération faites avant l'élection.

En d'autres mots, des élections ne suffisent pas si l'on veut apporter la démocratie au monde. Les élections peuvent déboucher sur des démocraties intolérantes et pire encore. Elles doivent s'inscrire dans une structure institutionnelle plus complexe, que je qualifie d'ordre libéral.

La première caractéristique de l'ordre libéral est que les démocraties ne doivent pas tolérer ceux qui s'attellent à détruire la démocratie. Certains pays, comme l'Allemagne, disposent de lois rendant possible l'interdiction de partis politiques dont les programmes sont manifestement antidémocratiques. Dans le passé, cette loi a été utilisée pour mettre un frein à des partis d'extrême droite et d'extrême gauche. Elle a clairement contribué à éviter tout signe de retour possible aux mœurs totalitaires du vingtième siècle.

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