A century ago, my great-grandfather, a university professor, was a royalist in the French Republic. He believed that democracy would necessarily lead to demagoguery.
Today, looking at what is happening in the United States, the United Kingdom, and more recently in Ukraine, I understand where he was coming from.
In most democracies, the horizon is limited to the next election, often a few years, as the main goal of most politicians is to be re-elected.
This term is too short to undertake reforms necessary to prepare the country for the future.
Politicians must be courageous enough to push through measures which may be unpopular in the short term, and they must have time to implement them.
In our current world, where all countries and domains are intricately interconnected, changes must be carefully analysed, and their consequences clearly and honestly explained.
Elected representatives, who should better understand and assess what is at stake, are better positioned to find the best solutions on behalf of their electorate. Brexit is a good example of how simple but fake assertions have pushed the British to vote against Europe and led to the current nightmare.
Democracy must not become the dictatorship of the majority.
An efficient society needs social cohesion. Governments must take care of minorities, which can easily become scapegoats or sources of trouble in difficult times.
The development of new media and social networks is another challenge to democracy. Everybody can disseminate fake news or wrong arguments to influence votes.
The transformation of election campaigns into blockbuster events gives precedence to glamour over intelligence. Stuck to their devices, people think less and less.
Beyond the necessary laws, education of the citizens must start as early as possible to enable them to understand the way society and the economy works, verify sources of information, assess what they are told, and make balanced decisions.
When I arrived in Singapore 17 years ago, I was puzzled by its political system.
But now, after looking at its ways and outcomes, I deem it an example of "good democracy", where long-term challenges and the real needs of the people on the ground, including minorities, are considered in a balanced way.