25 July 2014
We might compare that legitimacy with our elected government. Hamas won with 44.5 per cent of the vote. This compares to the 39.6 per cent the Conservatives received to win our 2011 election. Furthermore, the Palestine election had an impressive 77 per cent turnout, despite considerable Israeli obstruction. The election was described by the head of the European Parliament's monitoring team as "extremely professional, in line with international standards, free, transparent and without violence."
Canada's election was no doubt extremely professional as well, but the turnout was only 61 per cent. In other words, the Conservatives were elected by 24 per cent of Canadians, Hamas by 34 per cent of Palestinians. One might say that, from a democratic perspective, the Hamas government is 50 per cent more legitimate than our federal Conservative government. How ironic that Canada, ostensibly a strong supporter of democracy, helped to destroy an elected government with more democratic legitimacy than our own.
In any case, Hamas legitimately represented the will of the Gazan people, if not all Palestinians, at least until the formation of a unity government with Fatah in April. Whether that remains the case, we will soon find out. Hamas and Fatah have now agreed to an election later this year. Let us hope Canada will not collaborate in wrecking this government.
Posted by Bill Longstaff at 10:30 am