Democracy allows the community to choose its leaders and entrusts them with a sacred responsibility to protect our fundamental human values. Irrespective of their political orientation the community hopes and expects that its leaders will possess and demonstrate wisdom and will have a sense of perspective on the lessons of history. The community expects that in the face of sometimes great pressures leaders will maintain a sense of proportion and responsibility and demonstrate prudence and consistency in their decisions on important national issues. This has been the national leadership paradigm that has prevailed since the end of the Second World War, despite various periods of great global insecurity.
This paradigm has been shattered in the 21st century with the global ascendance of technology-enabled psychological warfare, with the spectre of terrorism emerging as a universal trigger for a hysterical emotional response.