International Day of Democracy

Written by: Terry Link

Primary Source: Possibilitator

On 8 November 2007, the General Assembly proclaimed 15 September as the International Day of Democracy, inviting Member States, the United Nations System and other regional, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations to commemorate the Day. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to highlight the centrality of this universal core value and to review the state of democracy in the world. Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy become reality, to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.

 Polling officers help a voter cast her ballot in Timore-Leste’s parliamentary elections. U.N. Photo

Today the UN celebrates the International Day of Democracy. I suspect that here in the U.S. you won’t see parades, fireworks displays, newspaper stories or any acknowledgement of the importance and the role of democracy in building a better future for all. Given the low turnout of eligible voters to the polls here, especially in local primaries and elections, let alone involvement through direct communication with government, letters to the editors, involvement in political campaigns, etc. ours is not currently the emblem of the term.While the U.S. might be the birthplace of modern democracy, our practice of its ideals is weak.

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Terry Link
Terry Link is a retired MSU librarian, former founding director of the MSU Office of Campus Sustainability, and co-founder and former chair of the American Library Association’s Task Force on the Environment. He recently served as associate editor for the two-volume encyclopedia, Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices(Gale/Cengage 2014). He has also served as executive director of a regional food bank and as a county commissioner. Currently he is president of Starting Now, LLC, a sustainability consulting firm, a Senior Fellow for the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and serves on numerous non-profit organization boards.
Terry Link

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