Las elecciones no bastan

No puede haber un orden liberal sin democracia política, pero en la actualidad se nos recuerda con frecuencia que la democracia política por sí sola no garantiza un orden liberal. Unas elecciones libres y justas pueden propiciar el ascenso de un Presidente del Irán que quiera “borrar a Israel del mapa de Oriente Medio” o un Presidente de Venezuela cuya intolerancia para con la clase empresarial inspire júbilo en las calles, pero mueva a la inmigración a aquellos cuya iniciativa es decisiva para el bienestar de la población. Menos perjudicial –y, aun así, problemática– es la elección –como en Polonia– de un gobierno minoritario que persigue inflexiblemente los intereses personales de sus miembros e incumple todas las promesas de cooperación hechas antes de las elecciones.

En otras palabras, si queremos que en el mundo haya democracia, las elecciones no bastan. Las elecciones pueden propiciar democracias iliberales y cosas peores. Deben estar insertas en un marco institucional mucho más complejo, que me gustaría calificar de “orden liberal”.

El primer rasgo del orden liberal es el de que las democracias no deben tolerar a quienes se proponen destruir la democracia. Algunos países, como Alemania, tienen leyes que permiten prohibir partidos políticos cuyos programas son claramente antidemocráticos. En el pasado, se ha utilizado esa ley para poner coto a partidos de extrema izquierda y de extrema derecha, lo que ha contribuido claramente a prevenir cualquier señal de posible regreso de las formas totalitarias del siglo XX.

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