And if we flushed it all away… Would we leave marks or scars?

And if we flushed it all away… Would we leave marks or scars?

And if we flushed it all away… Would we leave marks or scars?

In Belgium, we’re right at the eve of the mother all elections. But what if we flushed them away: no more elections?
Feeling a bit frightened by the thought? Maybe you might be even more shocked if we told you this isn’t the proposal for Belgium, not even for our Western world. But that’s what one of our speakers at TEDxGhent 2014 will try to convince us of.

No, we’re not inviting one genuine dictator, but Alphonse Muambi. A Dutch- Congolese math teacher, author and lobbyist who isn’t afraid to share his critical and innovating ideas with the world.

He takes a closer look at the Western democracy, wondering if it hasn’t expired yet. We are so keen on the copy-pasting of it in other countries and in believing it will all seamlessly fit them. But Muambi tries to raise awareness this may not be the absolute solution. He vouches for democracy and is convinced it could, eventually, work in Africa. Just not the Western way, not with Western elections. It creates not only (financial) dependency of Europe, but also a twisted way of responsibility. African leaders show their results and responsibility to the sponsors and forget they have to show it to their citizens. A damaging result of lifelong development aid we thought effective. The Western world holding the hands of so called ‘fragile states’ may have done more wrong than good.

Muambi isn’t the only one questioning our democracy. Other politicians and political scientists aren’t so sure our Western democracy is perfect for everyone (maybe not even for us). What is more important: theory or results? Several times in history we even thought we could force our thoughts by military interventions. Did we then leave marks or scars?

E.g. is Russia democratic or not? What if it simply implemented its own democratic way? Maybe- just like in our democracy – it’s not perfect. But what if it works for them? What if it resulted in giving them the opportunity in organizing the most expensive Winter Olympics ever? Theory or results…

Alphonse Muambi thinks that each country – or maybe continent – needs its own democracy. So does Africa in his opinion. Let’s talk about it at TEDxGhent 2014 and broaden our vision! Maybe there’s something in it for us all…

More about Alphonse Muambi’s opinion on African democracy? Visit or just come and see him @ TEDxGhent 2014!


Written by Céline Delodder and Didier Van Coppenolle


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