By Dejenie A. Lakew, PhD
Complete freedom of expression and existence of a free press is the sole and cardinal element to the existence of a democratic political process. One without the other is a democratic paradox and therefore a mockery to say the least.
The invaluableness of a press and its prints or ideas have to be determined only by its readers, not by governments and/or authorities. The job of a government is to protect that fundamental right of individuals and society of accessing information freely and forwarding ideas freely. To let that happen by itself is allowing the people use their natural rights of accessing information without being couched or guided, and making the free flow of information for learning and empowering the society so that they make fair, well informed and better decisions in which political decisions are a part.
After all, Political process are social process in which political decisions are made. A decision either scientific, political, social, economic and or otherwise, made by a well informed and knowledgeable citizen is better and stable than the one which is made by a naïve and less informed citizen.
If there is no free media, and no freedom of expression, and if individuals have fear of expressing their ideas, then people are forced to take or consume a pre-planned awareness or consciousness which not enable them to make better judgments and thereby better decisions as to what they need not only for them but for the good of the majority, and they simply be made nominal signatories of a process that does not exist in the first place.
In order a process to be democratic, there should be a free public participation in the political process. The way the participation is measured and verified is through their freedom of access to free information from an absolute free press , and the existence of an absolute free press law with no string attached what so ever. Without these things there is no democratic social, economic and political processes.
You can not tell to people that you run a physics or chemistry laboratory experiment by intentionally closing all the laboratories where the very activities should take place.