The way out for Egypt is in shared power
Repeated calls for the Military to intervene in Egypt to restore law and order does nothing much but return to the recent past where the choice was the rule of religion or the military. The two-headed rule has been part of Egypt’s civilization story since the beginning of time. It is also a reminder of how many other nations had been ruled by either power, the church or the state (backed by a strong army) until eventually the constant wars were replaced by a seemingly better format for shared power and fundamentally forged unity to make economic gains and award their citizens a share of the resources and a vote in the rule. They called it Democracy. Seldom has any such democratic rule been established without preceding conflict, war, devastation or some form of strife. There is the misconception that peoples around the globe will welcome such rule naturally and automatically. The fact, repeated time after time, is that every group, community or nation must collectively experience the need to adopt change and support it only when it brings them prosperity.
“Be kind to America or they will bring Democracy to your country!” A sarcastic threat Egyptians are circulating on social media in clear indication of how they see the political process in Egypt so far. They voted and voted, their lives are certainly not any better, if anything they seem to be getting worse by the day. By reducing democracy to results of “voting boxes”, Egyptians are experiencing simple majority rule that continues to rock the foundation of an already ailing nation. The challenge, however is not only in the form of governance, it is in the degree of power any ruling group controls. Political power gained from a simple majority vote with no access to resources rules on very shaky turf. In Egypt’s case, the Muslim Brotherhood presented itself as capable, organized and above all promised to bring prosperity to Egypt and Egyptians. They have bit off more than they can chew as the president and his cabinet backed by the brotherhood struggle to keep the ship from sinking. Ruling power, even if elected, attempting to survive on unfulfilled promises of prosperity will be short-lived.
The serious dilemma in Egypt now is that no one group has an overwhelming majority to rule. Egyptians have so voted and, as in all democracies, citizens know best. As the economy deteriorates and social conditions do not improve, many continue to look for the power that could change the ballots. Ironically, history informs us that in times of chaos, weak rule and dire conditions, the only power that could present itself must be strong and ruthless, a dictator, not less. Although there have been strong leaders who have positively affected their nations, Egypt might have yet another choice to slowly get back on track. Egyptians had demonstrated it two years ago, a deeper democracy than just casting votes; shared power. They stood together, they fought together and they mobilized resources together. Egyptians joined hands and they got what they wanted. No one group fighting to gain control of Egypt can do so alone. The only winning formula will be to join forces with a shared vision to overcome their main challenge, if only they can recall who the enemy has always been.