Democracy must be made a global cause

Richard Laming

By Richard Laming

Published in the Financial Times, 12 September 2005

Sir, Craig Kennedy is right to say that America should champion democracy around the world (“America must make democracy a global cause”, September 7). But he should go on to say that democracy should be applied between states as well as within them. Decisions taken in international forums are becoming more and more important in our daily lives: it is a nonsense to insist that citizens should have a direct stake in national decisions but be denied such an influence at international level.

For example, it is wrong that poor countries are kept out of the economic decisions in the Group of Eight. The balance of power in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank has long been seen as tilted in favour of the rich. World trade deals should be scrutinised by a parliamentary assembly at the World Trade Organisation.

Yes, let us make democracy a global cause, and act as if we mean it.

Richard Laming

Director, Federal Union
London SE1 7TZ

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