Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi redefined irony this week in a rare public speaking appearance, during which he characterized representative democracy and global free trade economics as "dictatorship".
On the subject of representative democracy, Libya's "Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution" claimed that representative democracy equates to the "dictatorship of the 51%", adding:
51 percent - this is not democracy. That means 49 percent is against the winner.While the Colonel's math skills are reasonably sharp, there are many people who could quibble with his perception of democracy. Since seizing power in a military coup d'etat in 1969, Qaddafi has been the uncontested ruler of Libya, and has kept power thanks to a well funded and utterly ruthless secret police and a pervasive personality cult that outlaws any criticism of him or his rule.
To his credit, the Colonel has avoided the "dictatorship of the 51%" by opting for a dictatorship of one man - himself. And while he has sought to rehabilitate his image of late, there is absolutely no question of him stepping down from power, or even (may Allah forbid!) expanding social or political freedoms in Libya. After all, that would risk creating the dreaded dictatorship of the 51%, and that just wouldn't be fair, now would it?