If you were told that the prime minister of a country regarded as legitimate bribery charges against his political rivals – including two former prime ministers – which have been leveled without any evidence and based on the testimonies of witnesses who are trying to improve their own lot by cooperating with the authorities, then what conclusion would you draw about that country?
And what would you think about the institutions of that same country if the parliamentary committee that was set up to conduct a preliminary investigation into the case had been ordered by the government to send the case back to the prosecutor and to not really investigate the allegations, in an apparent attempt to damage the reputation of its political opponents?
And what if you read that a jailed terror suspect who is believed to have sent a parcel bomb that nearly killed a former prime minister went on hunger strike demanding that he be moved to a prison facility of his liking (while his anarchist friends are busy vandalizing store fronts in the center of the capital and targeting police stations with homemade petrol bombs in solidarity with his cause) had eventually seen his request being met by the minister of justice – then what would you say about that government?
Or if you saw the businessman owner of a major soccer club storming on to the pitch with a pistol in a holster, threatening referees, officials and players as police stood paralyzed amid the chaos, then what would you think about that country’s Ministry of Citizens’ Protection?
Similarly, if you heard a deputy prime minister lash out against the purported plots against his country, alleging that there is “a bloc of political forces that do not want the country to exit foreign supervision and this is why they object to a clean exit [from the bailout program] and instead want a precautionary line of credit,” what conclusion would you draw about the country’s administration?
Again, in the same country, if the education minister proudly announced his decision to abolish the evaluation of teaching staff so that one can no longer tell between a good and a bad professional, what would you have to say about that minister?
Such a country can only belong to the Third World, a place whose rulers are strangers to democratic institutions. Poor us.