In particular, Asians appear to espouse the ideals of governments being responsive to people’s needs and being held accountable to them as much as do Westerners. It also appears to be a universal truth that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Thus our central conclusion in our survey of the experiences among Asian countries is that we all need effective mechanisms of governance, to ensure that the rule of law is upheld, to prevent the abuse of publicly vested power for private gains, and to ensure accountability. In allowing people to change a government when it fails to satisfy, democracy does provide one mechanism of governance. But what counts more is whether the total package of governance mechanisms works better or worse. After all, in the East as much as in the West, we need to guard against possible abuses of power.
Paper presented at the International Conference on Lessons from History, Jun 09-10, 2006, Hong Kong, China.
ISBN of the source publication: 9781848446281