Some rulers think that a mandate to govern has to include the opposition, whatever the size of the majority. Others believe that winner takes all: once they are given a mandate, they can do as they please, disregarding all points of view and rewriting or at least bending the rules to keep their party in power forever. In Italy Berlusconi, in Hungary the current ruling party and in Egypt Morsi, considered that, once in power, they can do as they please, for as long as they want. Democracy consists of compromise and negotiation, finding a common ground and respect for all citizens – break that rule at your risk. It’s unfortunate that the military had to intervene, but in Europe we had military in power and dictatorships until a few decades ago: Greece, Spain, Portugal, not to mention the recurring convulsions in Turkey. If Egyptians can get together to write a constitution which preserves the rights of minorities as well as the majority, which leaves space for religion but also for the lay society, they will head towards a more stable future. Failing that, they might as well get used to regular coups and convulsions.
The Economist: Islam, democracy and soldiers – Egypt’s Tragedy