Egypt is an experimental democracy in progress, but when the evolution of this process turns bloody it begs the question: is it worth it?
An Egyptian tourist guide who has lost his job, or a businessman affected by ongoing street violence, would probably respond with a resounding no.
This should be a wake-up call for current and aspiring political leaders.
It has been established that Mohamed Mursi became Egypt's first democratically elected president following a public uprising, with 13.23 million votes (51.73 per cent).
While Mursi was the Muslim Brotherhood's (MB) nominee, votes from across the political spectrum were crucial in defeating the old regime's candidate.
In fact, Mursi's victory was only possible thanks to votes cast by the same people protesting in the streets of Cairo today.
His victory belonged to those who toiled and laboured to end the dictatorship of former president Hosni Mubarak.
It was obvious to all - except perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood - that many of Mursi's votes were simply a rejection of the old system, rather than a vote of confidence in him as a candidate. (....)
There are umpteen occasions when Mursi has made poor choices, from his backing down from early promises to reach outside the MB hierarchy to his handling of a vote on the constitution. But should that disqualify him from serving his elected term? I say no.
Mursi's failure is typical of doctrinal, elected leaders endeavouring to satisfy their organised ideological base and the public at large. Trying to balance the two is impossible and they end up failing both constituencies.