Hello America! How are you? Do you know what’s happening on the other side of the sea? Have you seen the article about Sujit Choudhry’s chapter on democracy in Poland? It showed up in LA NewsWatch recently and clearly needs the attention of all intelligent Americans and citizens of democratic countries.
This is not the America you remember from the 1940’s or 1950’s. America is changing fast. So is the rest of the world. At this time, The U.S. has a constitutional democracy that was generated historically and has served this country well, with the addition of different amendments as time has progressed. The three branches of government: judicial, legislative and executive have distinctly different powers and responsibilities.
The chapter Dr. Choudhry has written about the deterioration of democracy in Poland will be in the upcoming book Constitutional Democracies in Crisis?. Choudhry presents examples of how the majority party in the parliament in Poland has made multiple simple and subtle changes over a period of at least a year.
While each change appears innocuous, combined they undermine the foundations of a constitutional democracy. The removal of protective clauses and rules makes it easier to ensure that the next election will be dominated by the current party in power. It gives the, now democratic, President autocratic powers.
Are you listening, America? Do you see parallels?
Sujit Choudhry needs to be called to America to review the current status of what appears to be a solid democratic society, with a wide range of problems. Dr. Sujit Choudhry is the founding director of Constitutions in Transition and teaches law at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served many international leaders in times of crisis to negotiate peaceful solutions among extremely disparate groups.
International leaders respect Dr. Sujit Choudhry. His perspective comes from years of direct experience with the World Bank and United Nations. Do not ignore the implications he presents about democracy in Poland.