Jazzing Up a Forum

Democracy is like motherhood. Everybody is for it; in most circles, if you denigrate it people will wonder what planet you come from.

So some people are asking, what is the point of holding the annual Bali Democracy Forum, Asia’s sole intergovernmental forum on democracy, if the most it can achieve is the elaboration of the obvious? Moreover, because the forum does not allow finger pointing, its proceedings will often leave you with pious statements by representatives of authoritarian regimes pretending to aspire to become democracies.

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