Abdalla Al-Baalawy – Most people in richer countries around the world would disagree with the title of this article. It’s an assumption of many that introducing more rights (ex. voting rights) just makes sense. I would like to challenge this assumption and suggest that it is tough enough to just make a living in many parts of the world. Usually, rights such as voting rights are not the top priority of the citizens of these regions.
The following talk by Dambisa Moyo sums up the reasons why in many parts of the world, economic well-being is much more desired than rights such as voting rights:
As countries are growing, increased living standards mean people are able to afford to attain all the items, services, or desires that they would like to attain. It is not rocket science to figure out that as a poor person, the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are more important than who is running for minister or local council. As more people reach middle-income status, rights will automatically be requested as people look to meet more of of their needs.
Unfortunately today, many developing societies around the world are being thrust into democracies and governing systems that are not sustainable nor designed to work for the societal structures of these regions. Most people in these societies have not even attained their basic needs yet. It is crucial that these basic needs be met before governing systems such as the ones present in the western countries can be adapted (if the society chooses to adapt them).
Although we are seeing a rise in democracies around the world, many of these democracies are not full fledged democracies that provide all the rights that a full fledged democracy is supposed to provide. The focus of developing regions should be to raise the economic well-being of the society first, then focus on introducing more rights. Focusing on finding more ways to create wealth over introducing more rights just makes sense as a society is developing.