Political Diversity: Concept of Representation or Cultural Submission2015-10-10 01:58:50 Written by Desbele Kahsai Published in English Articles Read 45760 times
“We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity life would be very boring.”
— Catherine Pulsifer
Governments, political parties and communities around the globe in advanced and developing countries strive to adopt their constituents’ voice and interest by incorporating representative policy in their charters to reap better social, economic and political progress. This concept of participatory governing or process is called political diversity. What is the essence of diversity?
According to the Queens Borough Community College website, “The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.”
Therefore, political diversity is a framework that allows people of one nation to establish a representative governance to have a saying on the decision making process that affects their livelihood. It brings diverse people from different ethnic groups, regions and religions together to form a governing body that respects, accepts and recognizes the human and political interests of all stakeholders. In a nutshell, political diversity is a system that fulfills the political interests of all parties involved. The process guarantees its owners to participating in the decision making process in policies that affect their political, social, and economical life.
Eritrea (like India, Nigeria and Switzerland) is a multiple ethno-territorial diverse country. Nonetheless, Eritrea’s ethno-linguistic and religious blood relationship offers a better situation for harmonious political diversity than the said examples. The Bilen and Saho religious bi-communal formation, and the ethno-linguistic Tigre blood relationship with the Tigrina are core foundations of our social and political make up. This unique formation is a winning formula that should not be squandered.
It is for that reason that the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) is striving to establish a representative governance system to advance the interests of all Eritreans. A government where all ethnic groups and regions participate in the process through their representatives. This way all Eritreans will have a voice in their government and their political interest are respected and recognized.
Could diversity mean the give up or submission of one’s culture? Or, does diversity mean the coercion of one culture in favor of another? Absolutely not. A culture is the way people live their daily lives. Fortunately, each ethno-linguistic group in Eritrea have very distinctive culture, and representative system of governing empowers the culture of every stakeholder. It never promotes the coercion or submission of cultures. It rather allows diverse cultures to co-exist side by side in harmony and bondage. Thus, one can confidently say that political diversity is about inclusiveness and not exclusiveness.
In conclusion, our diversity is unique and rich. We need to explore and invest on our uniqueness from a human aspect where we can build bridges of understanding and dialogue. This way we are stronger and will come out winners together.