Post World War 2, a rising tide of nationalism, the strengthening of communism and the end of colonialism witnessed an age of pro-independence political leaders. This was especially pronounced across Africa and Asia.
Roll forward about sixty to seventy years.
How many nations are still ruled by the same political party that fought for independence at the outset? Singapore comes foremost to mind. In contrast, the high level of volatility in the political landscape of Europe, the primary colonisers for a few centuries pre World War 2, has since witnessed a wide spectrum of political players with many different hues.
So called democracies encourage change, with parties playing off each other every few years. Historically this can lead to dictatorships, autocracy, kleptocracy, military rule and other arrangements which are a far cry from the idealistic Greek idea of democracy.
Even the Roman Republic came into aurocratic rule for a long time before the Empire collapsed and after the powers of checks and balances like in the Senate were decimated.
The implications of having too much a passion on exercising freedoms of expression in the past century can be a two edged sword. We have observed what has happened in the United States of America, which remains a highly divisive society, has gun use issues, has wealth concentrated in a few rather than the many and which is said to have been subject to excesses of interference in the electoral process.
In comparison, for some other countries, the cry to be heard for socio-political and economic justice is often ignored and suppressed - the yearning for basic freedoms here remains unfulfilled.
The different shades of Isms in categories of government rule currently seem to be skewing towards conservative values, right wing thinking and less openness in interacting with the outside world. Globalisation has had a kick in the butt when ordinary folks lose their jobs, manufacture so little and suffer a decline in their quality of life - especially when their political leaders are not innovative enough to change economic drivers. Therefore new labels like populism now compete with long standing systems like socialism, modified democracy, capitalism and political correctness.
Yet the strong hold of royalty continues in societies as diverse as the UK, Thailand, Japan and Brunei, providing many benefits of political stability as it may draw criticism.
There are only currently six nations which hold the communist label. They are Laos, Albania, Cuba, Vietnam, China and North Korea. The progressive ones emphasise on improving the day to day wealth of their citizens whilst expecting loyalty to party.
The integration of religious faith amd political control continues to happen across the Middle East. This is remniscient of history in the European Middle Ages before the collapse of feudal thought and practices.
Malaysians used to politically associate the month of May mainly with post election racial riots in 1969. Today for the majority, there is a glow in their hearts after an astounding post election outcome 49 years later on May 9. The party that won independence from the British and had ruled thereafter was over whelmingly rejected by voters without violence and after a much maligned long term performance by the incumbent Government. Change can be possible in a positive way.