I once had a discussion with a 29-year-old American over the concepts of "dictatorship" and "democracy" during breakfast at 6am, one Monday morning.
Needless to say, it was an interesting one. I was expecting Kevin to argue to eternity, that democracy is the ultimate form of rulership and government.
He didn't - surprising me intensely. We are poles apart when it comes to personality, but we both agreed that dictatorship and democracy are NOT mutually exclusive as widely supposed.
Democracy is when the majority opinion and desires are exercised. It is entirely possible for minority rights to be trampled underfoot by the tyranny of the majority.
Consequently, it is possible for a democratic leader - backed by a politically-blinded majority - to evolve into a nefarious despot.
But whatever the failings of democracy around the world, what I find most appealing is that theoretically, political independence is supposed to be retained by the citizens.
I believe that a responsible government that takes into consideration the rights of ALL its citizens is one that is moulded by a mature-minded society.
I'd like to think we are slowly approaching that.
The government we will potentially form is not exclusively about Anwar Ibrahim and for Anwar Ibrahim - regardless of what Anwar Ibrahim thinks it is. I see him as just a puppet, and what we should be doing is pulling his strings.
I hope we have learned our lesson from our past mistakes.
Leaders, in my opinion, are not born, but made. Take, for example, Adolf Hitler.
He started off as a charismatic and skillful leader. He was instrumental in the development of the German national car, Volkswagon (which means "people's car") and an extensive network of Autobahn (highways).
Hitler was TIME magazine's Man of the Year for 1938.
Frankly, Hitler earned and deserved the accolades the German people bestowed upon him - until they started giving him their blind support. Then it all went downhill from there.
He slowly proposed anti-semitism, and he wasn't opposed. Not strongly anyway.
And when Kristallnacht happened, few Germans spoke up. By then it was already too late. The Jews were rounded up and thrown into concentration camps.
Popular opinion is that the Holocaust was solely about the Jews. It wasn't. There were awful human experimentations by Josef Mengele - dwarfs, identical twins, etc. It is rather disturbing, so you might want to exercise caution or discretion reading it.
I probably have hard core Anwar Ibrahim fans baying for my blood now. :)
I'm not saying Anwar Ibrahim will eventually become like Hitler. I personally think ANYONE has the potential to become like that.
No, I'm merely pointing out the consequences of:
1. Not dissenting or speaking out against injustice, no matter how slight.
2. Electing a leader and then ignoring him until the next elections.
The Germans appear to have learned from their mistakes. Their Chancellors so far can only be accused of dying their hair and more recently, ummmm... employing weapons of mass distraction.
And while a lot of people think that good governance of a nation is due to its leaders, I strongly disagree - it's the people who deserve the credit.