Essay Democracy and Modern Democracy

Submitted By Raptorman1
Words: 766
Pages: 4

Aaron Lieberman
University of Ottawa
January 30th 2013

Wikileaks: A Reformation of Modern Democracy Democracy, in theory, is quite straightforward and very effective. However, in practice democracy can become very complex and can be open to an array of interpretations and translations. Former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, once declared a clear translation of democracy:
“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day” (IED) Roosevelt refers to the governments’ responsibility to the people. This is something that is often forgotten in today’s society, that it is not only our responsibility to be informed and involved in government, but an entrenched fundamental ideal that the government does the same. In this ideal society, that is not possible without a certain level of transparency and accountability, which has not been all that apparent in our democratic society. An unsung hero fortunately has delivered both of these ideals; a man named Julian Assange from Australia. It is his belief that for the government to be accountable for their actions, he and his organization (Wikileaks) must act as a mediator. Wikileaks acts as a watchdog in society and is a necessity to reform modern democracy. Informed decisions are essential in an effective democracy. In 2007 Wikileaks released video footage of two American Apache helicopters raining terror on a civilian town. This video spread throughout the world quickly and caused mass media revolt. After this video was released, Wikileaks came across some statistics that completely changed the American’s public view on the war in Iraq. Traditionally the United States keeps records of the casualties of American soldiers. However, they denied the fact that any other statistics regarding human casualties were kept. The official US figures stated that towards the end of 2009 4,748 US and allied troops had been killed. A non-government organization named “The Iraq Body Count” differed quiet significantly. It’s casualty estimates were as follows: 66, 081 civilians, 15, 196 security forces, and 23, 984 classified as “the enemy”. Furthermore, the US casualty figure came down to 3, 771. These numbers equate to 81, 277 people being slaughtered that were not classified as “the enemy”. These figures were highly influential because it gave the American citizens a realistic basis for which their country was making decisions. Not only is it true that the ideology behind Wikileaks underpins what we know today as modern democracy, but recent legal proceedings have proven that to extinguish a non-profit organization such as Julian Assange’s fundamental democratic human rights are forgotten. In December 2010, 10,000 online protestors were taking a stand using a form of protest known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS). These people would continually and simultaneously hit the refresh button on a given website until