The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of October 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil disobedience, and labour strikes. Millions of protesters from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of the regime ofEgyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Despite being predominantly peaceful in nature, the revolution was not without violent clashes between security forces and protesters, with at least 846 people killed and 6,000 injured. The uprising took place in Cairo, Alexandria, and in other cities in Egypt, following the Tunisian revolution that resulted in the overthrow of the long-time Tunisian president. On 11 February, following weeks of determined popular protest and pressure, Mubarak resigned from office.
Whether a national leader is viewed as “bad” or inadequate in the performance of their duties is often reported as fact when it is mostly based on opinion. A quick check of one resource available online indicates Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product (or “GDP”) is growing and its economic Inflation Rate is shrinking. Both of these are indicators of a stable economy, but in addition to these factors we should consider the President’s political effectiveness after holding the office for thirty years. Are they able to inspire dialog between the elected officials below their office? Are they a negotiator? Are they a communicator? Does the President represent the needs of the entire population in all their dealings?
In determining whether a President is bad as a leader many factors must be considered and accepting reports through popular media outlets such as, ‘The majority of Egyptian citizens (or voters) claim Mr. Mubarak is a bad leader.’ without exploring published facts would be illogical.
Every member of a society has a duty to “read between the lines” and determine the facts for themselves before taking a side in political arguments such as the present situation in Egypt. Opinions are not facts, but often opinions are used to persuade both politicians and constituents to defend or attack an office holder. Persuasive arguments are possible due to the lack of standardization in reporting on politics as a whole. The process of representing political candidates and national policies is further complicated by differing structures of governments around the world. For example, although it may be commonly reported only three political “Parties” exist in the United States (Democratic, Republican and “Independent”), there are in fact at least twelve. In Egypt the total number of political Parties may be reported at ten, depending on which reference material is consulted.
The most important facts in determining the quality of a leader are: Security of a nation (or “Are its borders secure?”), Stability of the economy (though much of this depends on the entire government), International relations (does the country have relations with its neighbors that benefit both?), Infrastructure (growth of national resources such as power, water, agriculture, transportation and import/export capability), Education (what percentage of the population is educated and productive) and Health (do the resources exist to maintain a healthy population and respond to emergencies?).
Smaller interests being of less value to the entire country as a whole may be of benefit only to smaller groups of people, but the key items of Security, Economy, Relations, Infrastructure, Education and Health apply to everyone. It should be regarded as a sign of a “good” leader when these criteria are measurable, dependable and growing within a country. Any national leader that cannot focus on achieving these things and improving the quality of life for all citizens should step aside. The regular election of representatives of the people, or politicians who survey the populations’ needs and report these to the central government, is essential to a Representative form of government.
One final factor in calculating the effectiveness of any government and its leaders is the “Cost per Citizen” expended in the operation of it. Again here, due to complex budgets, non-standard reporting, and “hidden” (secret) expenditures, it is often very difficult to determine this financial figure.