What is democracy? And what is its fundamental principle? We answer this main question
for all the Khmer people and for all compatriots.
Democracy can be described briefly and is easy to understand. [In democracy] the
interests of the people are of highest importance. We just want to give an example
of one case to show you all.
The government wants to build a bridge or wants to improve the Cambodian economy
by modern agricultural techniques. So the government tells the people about the project.
That means they tell the provincial representatives, asking them if they support
the government's idea. They ask them in a meeting in the assembly. If they support
it, all the provincial representatives are asked to vote in support of the project.
And if the supporting voters have many votes, that means that the government's idea
to build the bridge or developing agriculture by modern equipment is correct.
At that time, if the assembly agrees, the government also has the power to approve
the budget plan for building. But this depends on the executive also, that the government
has power to arrange the plan for building.
Briefly, in conclusion, [in a democracy] they take the voice and idea of the people
to be the best. If the people propose something, the government must find something
which will satisfy the people.
The other example is brief and easy to understand. The people do not want bars, hotels,
restaurants, and the people need fertilizer, agricultural equipment, etc. But if
the government does not satisfy the people's wishes and proposals, and the government
thinks that it must create restaurants, hotels, topless bars, etc., the government's
idea is opposite to the wishes of the people. In such a case I do not say that this
is democracy, in which the people are most important. This is dictatorial democracy,
power is important [more than the people's wishes].
So if in a society, in a country, the government leads the society by using dictatorial
power, we do not say this country has democracy.
For example, like the current rulers, if this problem happens, that the government
and the people have opposing ideas and if there is an argument between the people
and the government, that society, that country, will undoubtedly have violence, non-violence,
and demonstrations. At the end they will go to war.
If the war happens, that country will always have starvation, banditry, murder, killing
each other for power, and [there will be] partisanship. If they remain partisans
[not unified] they cannot avoid being colonized.
So if we speak directly, Cambodia has had war for many years because we have had
no democracy...or what? Yes! The case that all of you have asked me is exactly correct!...Today
I speak only about this. In the next issue we will...talk about the problem: "Why
does Cambodia have a never-ending war?"