Rachel Alexander

The protests in Morocco are forcing real democratic changes in the government, a stark contrast to other “Arab Spring” uprisings taking place in Arabic countries throughout the Middle East. The demonstrations are being driven by frustration over the economic conditions in those countries, the level of autocratic rule and its associated government corruption. Middle Eastern Arab countries all share a common form of government known as a constitutional monarchy, consisting of an oligarchy or monarchy run by Islamic-believing leaders with varying levels of religiosity, that co-exist with a weak democratic government. The purely secular side generally consists of a prime minister, parliament, and separate judiciary.

Heavily Islamic, the Arabic states have stubbornly held on to their oligarchic leaders - so getting rid of them by force and replacing them completely with a republican democratic form of government is not likely to happen. The Arab states that have made the furthest strides towards democracy have done so by having in place a leader willing to share his power generously with democratic rule and gradually implement more reforms. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI is like this. There is a real chance that Morocco may some day reach the stage of countries like England, where the monarchy has become strictly ceremonial. One Moroccan blogger sums it up by saying the best way to bring about democratic reforms is to adopt a provision from the Cambodian Constitution, “The King of Cambodia shall reign but not govern.”


Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative.