Double-standard Western Democracy
“Free elections” in Eastern Europe but not in Western Europe
Among the principal issues dealt with at Yalta Conference was the question of free elections in Eastern Europe. At Yalta Conference the West still believed that eastern Europe could be kept in its orbit, though these puppet states had never known what democracy means and no any democracy had ever been practised in this region since it was still ruled by feudalistic groups. At Yalta the Big Three agreed to assist all liberated countries in Europe ” to create democratic institutions of their own choice” and to “form interim governmental authorities broadly representative of all democratic elements in the population and pledged to the earliest possible establishment through free elections of governments responsive to the will of the people”. The West would like to apply to the remainder of eastern Europe where the upper classes had generally collaborated with the Nazis. Also war-time propaganda and cooperation had obscured the differences between Russian and Western ideas of democracy.
As events speedily proved in Poland and Rumania and later in France and in Italy, the Soviets and the Western leaders had different interpretation of democracy in their zone of influence. The first clash between Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt at Yalta was related to Poland, its boundaries and the character of its Government. At Yalta, the three leaders had to resolve the existence of two Polish Governments, one exiled in London supported by Britain and another the new Lublin Government formed behind the red Army. the result was an agreement that the Lublin Government should be “reorganized by including a broader democratic basis with the participation of democratic leaders from Poland itself and from the Poles abroad and pledged to hold “free and enfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot” all “democratic and anti-Nazi parties” were to have the right to campaign.
As events speedily proved in Western Europe, the rule of “free elections” was a mere slogan and a propaganda directed against the Soviet Union and the socialist regimes in eastern Europe. these cocnlusions seemed to be buttressed by the venets between 1948 and 1951. On April 18, 1948 an election was held in Italy which was quite openly a contest between the United states and the Soviet Union. this was the first post war election in Italy and the Communist-Socialist bloc was given en “even chance” by Western observers to win a 51 per cent majority. When the vote were in, the pro-Western Christian Democrats had 53 per cent of the ballots a stunning victory while the pro communist bloc polled but 30 per cent. the most important factor in the victory of the pro-Western Christian Democrats was the western propaganda and the open entrance of America into the campaign the West proposed the return of Trieste to Italy. American motion picture appeals radio broadcasts bulletins and private letters flooded the land. Not a day passed without the anti-communist majority of the press having a new effective American gesture to put in its headlines President Truman made Italy badly needed gift of 29 merchants ships ; gold looted from Italy b the Nazis returned the first Marshall Aid ships arrived and were unloaded amid ceremony and with a speech by the American Ambassador; the State department announced that Italians who were known to have voted Communist would be denied that dream of all Italians emigration to America;
Another example of the Western double-standard democracy. In the summer of 1951 parliamentary elections were held in France ; As in Italy the election law was rigged against the communists. the other parties could combine their votes in any given election district and if they won a majority, take all the seats except in communist Paris where proportional representation was preserved to protect the democratic minorities the two-sided election law reduced the number of communist deputies very sharply from 183 to 101 but the Red popular vote fell only 2,2 per cent. still standing at 26 per cent.