Coup blimey! What a time for dictators to be all the rage

Ideas

Coup blimey! What a time for dictators to be all the rage

We are in a post-democracy world, with the poster boys for democratic norms and values now the villains

Columnist

The UK is in turmoil. An unelected prime minister, Boris Johnson, has moved to suspend the country’s parliament, thus robbing lawmakers of time to debate or try to stop a no-deal Brexit, as the country’s exit from the European Union is called. He has a solid reason for this utterly undemocratic decision: the past three years have demonstrated that parliament opposes the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without an agreement.

So what do you do when you don’t like democracy? You suspend its institutions. Take a guy like Adolf Hitler, for example. Back in 1933, Hitler passed what was called the Enabling Act, giving himself the power to enact laws without the involvement of the German parliament. The rest is history.

It’s a good thing Johnson is not Robert Mugabe or the leader of a country that his friend Donald Trump, president of the US, refers to as a “shithole country”. He would be in deep trouble in all sorts of international forums by now. You see, they have a name for this sort of thing when it happens in the developing world. It’s called a coup d’etat...

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