December is always a time for reflection and as we approach the end of 2017 and look back over what’s happened around the world this year, anyone could be forgiven for feeling despondent about what democracy really means.
Political polarisation and the rise of populism create a danger for democracy and threaten transparency and trust. In many countries, including the UK and the US, more or less half the population did not get the result they wanted when they cast their votes recently, which has created division and instability.
But it would be wrong to buy into this world view. The reality is that over the past four decades democracy across the globe has risen to a post-war high and a comparison of a map of the world’s democratic and autocratic countries from 1976 and 2016 shows a very different picture¹.
For Zimbabwe, the 2018 elections should bring what the country has been waiting for, and although the recent changes in leadership are no guarantee of reform, it is a time of great hope for the country.
The right to vote is fundamental to our society and in the UK we expect the voting process to run smoothly with no mishaps; the same should be the case for every nation, no matter how new they are to the procedure, but this needs the support of specialist companies such as Smith & Ouzman to provide the framework that sits behind free and fair elections. For democracy to work strict procedures need to be adhered to and that’s why best practice for the procurement of electoral services is so vital.
Smith & Ouzman has a long tradition of working with election bodies and government departments around the world and continues to support overseas financial, educational and election markets with vigour, ensuring best practice is followed and supporting all parties involved.
So the message to take into 2018 is that democracy is an upward trend that we should remember when the negative news stories from around the globe seem to make the concept of world peace an impossible dream.
We would like to wish the people of Zimbabwe every success, stability and growth for the years ahead