In Pakistan, democracy has been tried several times, and each time it has failed, there is no doubt about that. It has failed to provide people with necessities of life, provide security and uproot poverty and corruption. There have been several reasons given to us repeatedly for its failure such as weak judiciary, lack of education, strong military influence in the country etc. However, we must realize that these are not the reasons for the failure of the system; rather these are problems emanating from this failed system.
I believe that democracy has failed because it is bound to fail. There are a number of arguments for this claim. Firstly, democracy is the political system of capitalism, which originated when a peace was made between thinkers and clergy, a compromise based on separation of church and state i.e. the church will be allowed to preach and practice and the state will not interfere in its matters, likewise the church will not interfere in the matters of state. In the face of black and white, compromise is the grey part. Then how can a system based on compromise be rational?
Secondly, in democracy, groups of human beings are given the authority to legislate laws for the whole nation. Now, a human being is limited in its thinking, he does not even know what his needs will be tomorrow, what to speak of the needs of the whole nation.
Furthermore, democracy is not a representative system at all. Politicians participating in this system need to be wealthy in order to campaign and win. It is anyone's guess as to how much the MNA or MPA party ticket for the next election will cost standing on the platform of the main parties such as PPP, PML-N, MQM and ANP. Once they win, they will then want their money back with a profit that is what any businessperson will do. So the politicians in this system will always put their personal interest before the interest of the people and with the power of legislation in their hands, they can always bend the laws for that.
This is the reason why to this day the big feudal landowners, who happen to make up a big portion of those sitting in our assemblies don't pay any tax on their agricultural income; it's because they haven't passed any law requiring themselves to do so but they did pass a law recently requiring the new VAT tax to be imposed across the board to satisfy IMF demands.
Another flowery notion of democracy is the freedoms it promises. Again, who exactly decides the extent of freedom and why? Who sets the boundaries?
It does not take much to see that democracy has failed the people. What is more difficult is the search of an alternative system. Certainly, military rule is not an option; we are still living under the effects of dictator Musharraf's rule. An alternative system has to ensure that the rulers cannot just tear up the rulebook and change the rules of the game as they play. Islam has given us such a system, the Khilafah, where The Creator has already decreed the laws, and the ruler's job is just to implement them on people. These laws are flawless and able to satisfy humanity's needs because they are decreed by the Creator, Who has not only created man but also his needs. If any ruler tries to flout an Islamic Shariah rule he would be seen as a transgressor; on the other hand all a democrat has to do is pass a bill with a majority and he can make anything legitimate.
As Thomas Jefferson, the third American President said, "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."