The following are excerpts from an interview with Ahmad Qadhaf Al-Dam, a cousin of Libyan leader Mu'amar Qadhafi:
Ahmad Qadhaf Al-Dam: If we take, for example, Bush's victory. The number of votes he received equaled that of Clinton's former vice-president, and the vote count showed a very small margin. He ruled on behalf of 50% of the people, while 50% did not support the president. What sort of a democracy is this? Besides, the voters were only part of the American people, not all. Part of the American people, in the two parties, elected the president. This means that the president doesn't represent the American people and was not elected by the American people in the true democratic sense. Besides, these two parties – who do they serve and how is the president elected? Through money, support, ballot boxes, the media, and a lobby of experts using propaganda like "Who are you voting for?" "You should vote for..."
The distortions that are part and parcel of the parliamentary elections… The world accepted this at this stage since there has been no other solution. The truth is that the Republican was much better than the previous stages – until the revolution in Libya advanced the world to a new stage. Mu'amar spoke of the post-Republic stage. He spoke about the Republich of the Masses. In 1977, the state of the masses was established in Libya. He called it "the Republic of the Masses," meaning, the state of the masses, in which the masses rule without representation, intermediaries, bribery, or ballet boxes.
Interviewer: How does this work? How do the masses rule?
Ahmad Qadhaf Al-Dam: The masses rule through popular councils. Every neighborhood and street in each village and city, everyone older than 18, male or female, can be members of this parliament. In Germany, for instance, there is one parliament that represents the German people, and it has 400 members or 300 members, I think. This parliament is now located in Berlin. If there were a parliament in Frankfurt, Berlin, and in Aachen, or if there were a parliament in Cairo, in Alexandria, in Matruh, in Al-Buheira, in Asyut and in Aswan, we could certainly increase popular participation.
Imagine that in every neighborhood and every street people sit to discuss their future and all of the problems that members of parliament currently discuss. Members of parliament are incapable of representing the people. When you represent me, this means that I am absent, and if I'm present, you don't need to represent me. Thus parliamentary regimes are incapable of fulfilling their duty…
Interviewer: There is a practical difficulty in having an entire village meet and discuss its affairs. Wouldn't it be better to elect a group or a small parliament or municipal council or representative council for this purpose?
Ahmad Qadhaf Al-Dam: Look, this village… As you can see with any event… If there is a large number of people, then you divide them into smaller groups. We call these basic popular councils. Meaning basic parliaments. If there is a large number, there may be 5 councils, 10 councils, or 20. But no one represents me. No one can dream for another person, eat for another person, study, or express an opinion for another person. Every day you see on the TV that in European parliaments the masses are trampled under horses' hooves. Who represents them? There is a problem with the system. There is a problem here. A member of parliament looks for people as long as they promise to vote for him. He goes to the villages, visits them, does such-and-such for them, distributes money, organizes a festival and announces, "I am your representative." As soon as he's elected, he becomes someone else and represents only himself. But when I represent myself, when every citizen, in every country in the world, has a parliamentary seat even if he expresses his insanity – he is free.
In parliaments they never talk about bread. Who in parliament is in need of bread? They all have stomach aches because they eat so much. Who in a party represents other people? A party is a collection of people with identical ideas and opinions. It's a clique of people with the same opinions, and it doesn't represent society. it rules in it own name and tramples others and their ideas, while making its own opinions dominant. There is a real flaw here and thus the Republic of the Masses…
Interviewer: Allow me to disagree, if we compare the European democracies with the democracies in the Arab world, we can only wish our democracies were closer to Europe, at least with respect to rights and liberties. At any rate, the Libyan people accepts this theory. Does it provide results?
Ahmad Qadhaf Al-Dam: Excuse me, respect for what humanity? How can you respect my humanity while violating my rights? If you represent me, you mutilate me. You take my vote and go to parliament and represent yourself. Respecting people's humanity is the opposite. It means letting people participate in government.