Archive for May 10th, 2008

Olympics as a prelude to multi-party democracy

May 10, 2008

Ramachandra Guha in the Hindu on some curious connection between one-party States that hosted Olympics and their turning into multi-party democracies soon after:

The history of the modern Olympics shows that one-party States that host the games seek to project an image of power and pride. But that history also shows that these one-party States are replaced, sooner or later, by democratic, multi-party regimes. Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics in 1936; 13 years later West Germany had the first of very many free elections. The 1980 Olympics were held in Moscow — nine years later the Soviet Union collapsed. The process was quickest in South Korea — which hosted the Olympics in 1988, and had its first free election in 1992. It was slowest in Mexico, where it was only in 2000 that the PRI was finally booted out of power.

So, nationalism and jingoism notwithstanding, the evidence of history prompts this less than pessimistic prediction — that multi-party democracy will come to China sometime within the next four to 32 years.

Interesting thought!