Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why Morsi Had To Go

Debate over the legitimacy of Mohammed Morsi's defenestration continues, with John McCain calling the action a coup. "Coup" is a loaded word because political activity by the Egyptian Military would stop American military aid.  However, this was not a coup.  It was not an abrogation of democracy.  For the future of democracy in Egypt, Morsi had to go.

The Morsi government was a disaster by any measure.  The economy was a shambles and getting worse.  Foreign Policy was incoherent and sporadic.  The security situation in Sinai is a shit show.  Morsi pissed off everyone, the Army, the Police, the Media, the Judiciary, the Copts, the Shia, Islamic clerics, and even other Islamic political parties.  While the country fell apart around their ears, the Morsi government proved interested in only one issue, institutionalizing the Muslim Brotherhood's grasp on power.  At the same time, they frightened just about everyone who did not vote for Morsi by pushing Islamization when he had no mandate to do so.  Indeed after promising they would not.

In the days before Morsi was deposed, 15 million Egyptians came out in the streets to demand his ouster.  Egypt is 3x the size of Canada.  Imagine if 5 million people came out here to demand a change of government.  There would be a change of government. 

The key point is that while elections are the lungs of democracy, political accountability is its heart.  Do a bad job and lose your job.  Morsi and his party were building a system where the Muslim Brotherhood could not be held accountable.  In this way, Morsi was subverting democratic institutions on a permanent basis. For all these reasons, Morsi had to go.

UPDATE Aug 20:
It's important to say that because Morsi had to go does not mean the suppression and murder of his supporters by the military is justified in any way whatsoever.  Morsi's mistakes were political, and subject to political accountability, not criminal prosecution.   The Army is massacring protesters on the streets.