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Weakening democracy lol

DrZoidberg

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Something not in the US Constitution is political parties, and none of its creators seemed to want them. Several of them went on record as deploring parties as leading to strife from rival factions. The Founding Fathers on Party Strife (Quotes) | Satyagraha and What Our Founding Fathers Said About Political Parties - Bill King Blog and The Founding Fathers Feared Political Factions Would Tear the Nation Apart - HISTORY

But their hope of a partyless political system was not to be. In the first term of the first President, George Washington, the politicians started dividing themselves into parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.

The Federalists wanted an industrialized nation with a strong government and a lot of international influence, while the D-R's wanted an isolationist, agrarian nation with a wimpy national government. Though many Americans continue to claim the D-R vision of the US as an ideal, the nation has become everything the Federalists wanted. The first D-R President, Thomas Jefferson, ended up acting Federalist-like with his Louisiana Purchase and his sending military expeditions to North Africa to punish raiders of American shipping.

 Party divisions of United States Congresses and  Political parties in the United States and  Political eras of the United States
EraYearsCongressesParty IParty II
1st Party System1789 - 17951 - 3Anti-AdminPro-Admin
1795 - 1825 4 - 18Dem-RepFederalist
2nd Party System1825 - 183719 - 24JacksonianAnti-Jackson
1837 - 185525 - 33DemocraticWhig
1855 - 185734DemocraticOpposition
3rd Party System1857 - 189735 - 54DemocraticRepublican
4th Party System1897 - 193355 - 72DemocraticRepublican
5th Party System1933 - 198173 - 96DemocraticRepublican
6th Party System1981 - present97 - presentDemocraticRepublican
We are at the 117th Congress.
Political parties is unavoilable in a modern democracy. Its just too much shit to keep track of for one person. Ruling has to be a team effort.

I also don't give much weight to the pipe dreams of the founding fathers. In 1776 democracy was a wild and fanciful thought experiment. No, shit they got some details wrong.
 

lpetrich

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Political parties is unavoilable in a modern democracy. Its just too much shit to keep track of for one person. Ruling has to be a team effort.

I also don't give much weight to the pipe dreams of the founding fathers. In 1776 democracy was a wild and fanciful thought experiment. No, shit they got some details wrong.
On a national scale, maybe, but the colonies had representative democracy in them, and the Continental Congress was that also, after a fashion. The US started out with Articles of Confederation, but that specified a very wimpy national government, and the US Constitution was created to specify a stronger one.
 

lpetrich

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As I've noted elsewhere, there is some research which finds a correlation between strength of legislature and strength of democracy: Project MUSE - Stronger Legislatures, Stronger Democracies also at 1. Fish pp 5-20.pmd - Fish Steven - Stronger legislatures, stronger democracy - EN - Standards.pdf Also What Makes Legislatures Strong? | Journal of Democracy and some numbers: Microsoft Word - Parliamentary Powers Index, Scores by Country.doc - PPIScores.pdf Some later work: Measuring Legislative Power: An Expert Reweighting of the Fish‐Kroenig Parliamentary Powers Index - Chernykh - 2017 - Legislative Studies Quarterly - Wiley Online Library

It's worth noting that the US Founders started with Congress and not with the Presidency.

That also agrees with how the top-rated democracies are mostly parliamentary systems -- systems where the legislature is supreme and controls the executive.
 
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lpetrich

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The 2010 structural-demographic forecast for the 2010–2020 decade: A retrospective assessment -- Peter Turchin and Andrei Korotayev
This article revisits the prediction, made in 2010, that the 2010–2020 decade would likely be a period of growing instability in the United States and Western Europe Turchin P. 2018. This prediction was based on a computational model that quantified in the USA such structural-demographic forces for instability as popular immiseration, intraelite competition, and state weakness prior to 2010. Using these trends as inputs, the model calculated and projected forward in time the Political Stress Indicator, which in the past was strongly correlated with socio-political instability. Ortmans et al. Turchin P. 2010 conducted a similar structural-demographic study for the United Kingdom. Here we use the Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive for the US, UK, and several major Western European countries to assess these structural-demographic predictions. We find that such measures of socio-political instability as anti-government demonstrations and riots increased dramatically during the 2010–2020 decade in all of these countries.

As to what happens in a sociopolitical crisis, Peter Turchin The Ginkgo Model of Societal Crisis - Peter Turchin -- from how a ginkgo's leaf veins radiate outwards.

He rated 30 crises on how well they fit the following:
  • Population decline / > 50%
  • Lethal epidemic
  • Elite: massive downward mobility / dispossession or extermination
  • Ruler executed or assassinated
  • Transformative revolution
  • Civil war / Prolonged civil wars (>100 years)
  • Territorial fragmentation / External conquest
His counts of how many crises had which numbers of them, from 0: 2, 1, 1, 4, 5, 7, 6, 3, 1.

Peter Turchin Population Immiseration in America - Peter Turchin

Peter Turchin A History of the Near Future: What history tells us about our Age of Discord - Peter Turchin
 

steve_bank

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She is a self avowed Marxist who has publicly said wants to get rid of private property. She wants to tear the system down and relace it wth her vision of 'true democracy'. No police. She let rioters into city hall at night.

She has 50% support in her district. The fact of her sucess in a major city is an indication of how we are becoming susceptible to radical divions and divides.
 

lpetrich

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Where the US is in the ratings:
Rater / RatingUSAllMinWorstUSBestMax
EIU Democracy Index2516701.087.929.8110
FFP Fragile States Index37179120111.744.616.20
Freedom House612100183100100
  1. What did the rating?
  2. US rank (best = 1)
  3. All that were rated
  4. Worst possible rating
  5. Worst that was listed
  6. US rating
  7. Best that was listed
  8. Best possible rating
Note that the Fragile States Index is in the reverse direction: lower is better instead of higher is better.

The US, though good, is far from the best, and one can construct a composite profile of the best countries.
  • Parliamentary system - the legislature picks the acting executive
  • Proportional representation
  • One legislative chamber or an upper one that does not do very much
  • A ceremonial president or monarch
The US fails all four criteria.
 

lpetrich

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3 reasons why New Zealand has the best-designed government in the world - Vox - Jan 16, 2015

Noting
The Perils of Presidentialism
Linz, Juan J. (Juan José), 1926-
Journal of Democracy, Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 1990, pp. 51-69 (Article)
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press
DOI: 10.1353/jod.1990.0011

Back to Vox.
We in the US tend to assume that — however awful we might think our politicians are — our political system is excellent. The Constitution is held in high esteem across the political spectrum, and Democrats and Republicans alike pay lip service to the "genius" of the Founders. But our system, combining two powerful legislative bodies with a strong executive, is pretty rare internationally. Indeed, it appears to be a weaker model than most; the US is the just about the only country to sustain a presidential system for a long period without descending into dictatorship.

We can learn a lot from other countries' models, which are often more streamlined and democratically representative than our own. The best of the bunch, in my judgment: New Zealand.

The article then discussed a downside of single-member districts: inadequate representation. A Democrat in rural Texas and a Republican in Manhattan are never likely to get well-represented. That is especially bad for when a candidate wins by a narrow margin - there is a big unrepresented population.

Author Dylan Matthews then discussed proportional representation, settling on mixed-member PR (MMP) as the best system. That is what's used in Germany, New Zealand, Lesotho, Bolivia, Scotland, and Wales.

Pure party list?
Party-list systems make it hard for a single party to get a majority, which means that if, say, a party has 45 seats out of 100, it still needs to win over a party with 6 seats to govern. The 6 seat party then has significant power to demand stuff, out of proportion to its actual level of support. So ironically, this form of proportional representation can have patently undemocratic consequences. Stuff like this has happened frequently in Israel, with fairly deleterious results.
DM says that nations with MMP avoid that kind of problem, but then again, there aren't many nations that use it.
Unlike party list representation, people still have representatives with at least some ties to their area, for whatever that's worth.

But more importantly, it means parties have to be organized enough to compete in a decent number of districts in order to have a shot. That discourages the kind of excessive party formation that happens under pure party-list representation, while still ensuring that smaller parties get some say.
 

lpetrich

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DM then mentions another nice feature of New Zealand: unicameralism.

The US Senate weights voters of small states much more than voters of large states, something that is hard to defend as a democratic ideal.

But as he says, many nations seem to do well with only one legislative chamber: New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Denmark, Israel, Iceland, Taiwan, ...

Australia has an active Senate like the US Senate, but Canada's is a rubber-stamp body and the UK's House of Lords does very little. New Zealand abolished its upper house in 1951.
But even weak upper houses can typically delay legislation if they want to, and force changes on occasion. Germany's Bundesrat, for example, has an absolute veto over constitutional changes; in other cases, if the Bundesrat rejects a bill passed by the Bundestag (the lower house) with a two-thirds majority, the Bundestag has to muster a two-thirds majority itself to overrule the veto. That puts New Zealand over the top; not only does it, like Germany, have mixed member proportional representation, but unlike Germany it doesn't have a meddlesome upper house. The sole legitimate democratic institution is the one elected to proportionately represent the population.
 

lpetrich

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DM then defends figurehead monarchies. *Gag*

His argument is that parliamentary-system presidents may be meddlesome. But so can monarchs.
 

lpetrich

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Behind Manchin’s Opposition, a Long History of Fighting Climate Measures - The New York Times - "Senator Joe Manchin III noted climate policy when he said he would vote against the Build Back Better Act. In his life and career, West Virginia coal has loomed large."
The version of the bill that passed the House last month devoted $555 billion to shifting the nation to renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar power, and away from fossil fuels like West Virginia coal. Mr. Manchin, who defied gale-force political headwinds in 2010 by running for the Senate on his opposition to President Barack Obama’s climate change legislation, killed a provision in Build Back Better that would have imposed stiff penalties on electric utilities that continued to burn coal and natural gas.

But even with the stick dropped from the House’s bill, West Virginia’s coal interests were working hard to kill off the measure’s carrot, a package of tax credits to make clean energy more financially competitive, and, by extension, struggling coal even less so. Their lobbyists talked frequently to Mr. Manchin.

Tara Dublin (Taylor's Version) on Twitter: "I love this woman so so much. This is just another reason why I named one of my cats after Auntie Maxine Waters 🔥🔥🔥 #MAGAManchin @RepMaxineWaters" / Twitter
noting
✨ I 💛 Us ✨ on Twitter: "Congressperson Maxine Waters at a church in Los Angeles, spoke on Manchin’s obstruction of the BBB bill. (vid link)" / Twitter

She challenged Sen. Manchin to go on TV and explain why he is against each bit of BBB.

She can be fierce. Like this: Maxine Waters Says She Told Jim Jordan to ‘Shut Your Mouth’ for ‘Bullying’ Dr. Fauci | MSNBC - YouTube
 

lpetrich

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Juan Williams: American democracy is in peril | TheHill
Noting Trump's claim that the election was stolen from him and that many Republicans continue to believe that.
The deepest wound is to America’s founding identity as a nation of laws.

The U.S. is “closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,” Barbara Walter, a member of a CIA advisory panel called the Political Instability Task Force, writes in a forthcoming book.

Walter, a professor at the University of California at San Diego, predicts that such a war, if it comes, will feature “insurgency, guerrilla warfare, terrorism."

Walter’s book “How Civil Wars Start and How to Stop Them” says two factors point to a possible future civil war in America:
  • the erosion of democratic norms -- something associated with the rise of autocratic leaders
  • the rise of power-seekers “using racial, religious or ethnic divisions to try to gain political power.” -- like white supremacists

Poll: A majority of Americans believe U.S. democracy is in crisis : NPR
A new NPR/Ipsos poll finds that 64% of Americans believe U.S. democracy is "in crisis and at risk of failing." That sentiment is felt most acutely by Republicans: Two-thirds of GOP respondents agree with the verifiably false claim that "voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election" — a key pillar of the "Big Lie" that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

...
The country can't even decide what to call the assault on the Capitol. Only 6% of poll respondents say it was "a reasonable protest" — but there is little agreement on a better description. More than half of Democrats say the Jan. 6 assault was an "attempted coup or insurrection," while Republicans are more likely to describe it as a "riot that got out of control."

...
"I think the Democrats rigged the election," said Stephen Weber, a Republican from Woonsocket, R.I. "And who the hell would vote for Biden?"
A Republican may not be a very good judge of that. Fox News caricatures are far from the real thing.
Democrats also expressed dismay about the state of democracy — but for very different reasons. In follow-up interviews, they voiced concern about voting restrictions passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures in the wake of the 2020 election. And they struggled to make sense of the persistent belief in the fiction that Trump won.

"When Trump first came out with his 'big lie,' it just never occurred to me that so many Republicans would jump on board," said Susan Leonard of Lyme, N.H.

"It's like a group mental illness has hit these people," said Leonard. "I cannot believe this is happening in our country. I'm scared, I really am."
 

lpetrich

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US could be under rightwing dictator by 2030, Canadian professor warns | US politics | The Guardian
By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence. By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a right-wing dictatorship.

We mustn’t dismiss these possibilities just because they seem ludicrous or too horrible to imagine. In 2014, the suggestion that Donald Trump would become president would also have struck nearly everyone as absurd. But today we live in a world where the absurd regularly becomes real and the horrible commonplace.

...
I’m a scholar of violent conflict. For more than 40 years, I’ve studied and published on the causes of war, social breakdown, revolution, ethnic violence and genocide, and for nearly two decades I led a centre on peace and conflict studies at the University of Toronto.

Today, as I watch the unfolding crisis in the United States, I see a political and social landscape flashing with warning signals.
Then mentioning Rush Limbaugh: "I remarked to friends at the time that, with each broadcast, it was if Mr. Limbaugh were wedging the sharp end of a chisel into a faint crack in the moral authority of U.S. political institutions, and then slamming the other end of that chisel with a hammer."

Then the likes of Fox News and Newsmax.
What seems to have pushed the United States to the brink of losing its democracy today is a multiplication effect between its underlying flaws and recent shifts in the society’s “material” characteristics. These shifts include stagnating middle-class incomes, chronic economic insecurity, and rising inequality as the country’s economy – transformed by technological change and globalization – has transitioned from muscle power, heavy industry, and manufacturing as the main sources of its wealth to idea power, information technology, symbolic production and finance. As returns to labour have stagnated and returns to capital have soared, much of the U.S. population has fallen behind. Inflation-adjusted wages for the median male worker in the fourth quarter of 2019 (prior to the infusion of economic support owing to the COVID-19 pandemic) were lower than in 1979; meanwhile, between 1978 and 2016, CEO incomes in the biggest companies rose from 30 times that of the average worker to 271 times. Economic insecurity is widespread in broad swaths of the country’s interior, while growth is increasingly concentrated in a dozen or so metropolitan centres.

Two other material factors are key. The first is demographic: as immigration, aging, intermarriage and a decline in church-going have reduced the percentage of non-Hispanic white Christians in America, right-wing ideologues have inflamed fears that traditional U.S. culture is being erased and whites are being “replaced.” The second is pervasive elite selfishness: The wealthy and powerful in America are broadly unwilling to pay the taxes, invest in the public services, or create the avenues for vertical mobility that would lessen their country’s economic, educational, racial and geographic gaps. The more an under-resourced government can’t solve everyday problems, the more people give up on it, and the more they turn to their own resources and their narrow identity groups for safety.
Are the two sides alike? "While both wings of U.S. politics have fanned polarization’s flames, blame lies disproportionately on the political right."

As Dr. Theda Skocpol notes, the Republican Party is “marriage of convenience between anti-government free-market plutocrats and racially anxious ethno-nationalist activists and voters.”

About Fascism,
And it’s not inaccurate to use the F word. As conservative commentator David Frum argues, Trumpism increasingly resembles European fascism in its contempt for the rule of law and glorification of violence. Evidence is as close as the latest right-wing Twitter meme: widely circulated holiday photos show Republican politicians and their family members, including young children, sitting in front of their Christmas trees, all smiling gleefully while cradling pistols, shotguns and assault rifles.

Those guns are more than symbols. The Trump cult presents itself as the only truly patriotic party able to defend U.S. values and history against traitorous Democrats beholden to cosmopolitan elites and minorities who neither understand nor support “true” American values. The Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. capitol must be understood in these terms. The people involved didn’t think they were attacking U.S. democracy – although they unquestionably were. Instead, they believed their “patriotic” actions were needed to save it.
Sort of like Adolf Hitler portraying himself as a great German patriot at his trial for leading the Beer Hall Putsch.
 

lpetrich

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Jack Goldstone, a political sociologist at George Mason University in Washington, D.C., and a leading authority on the causes of state breakdown and revolution, told me that since 2016 we’ve learned that early optimism about the resilience of U.S. democracy was based on two false assumptions: “First, that American institutions would be strong enough to easily withstand efforts to subvert them; and second, that the vast majority of people will act rationally and be drawn to the political centre, so that it’s impossible for extremist groups to take over.”

But especially after the 2020 election, Dr. Goldstone said, we’ve seen that core institutions – from the Justice Department to county election boards – are susceptible to pressure. They’ve barely held firm. “We’ve also learned that the reasonable majority can be frightened and silenced if caught between extremes, while many others can be captured by mass delusions.” And to his surprise “moderate GOP leaders have either been forced out of the party or acquiesced to a party leadership that embraces lies and anti-democratic actions.”
JG has worked with Peter Turchin.
Once Republicans control Congress, Democrats will lose control of the national political agenda, giving Mr. Trump a clear shot at recapturing the presidency in 2024. And once in office, he will have only two objectives: vindication and vengeance.

A U.S. civil-military expert and senior federal appointee I consulted noted that a re-elected president Trump could be totally unconstrained, nationally and internationally.

A crucial factor determining how much constraint he faces will be the response of the U.S. military, a bulwark institution ardently committed to defending the Constitution.
But Trump is likely to appoint Trump loyalists to the top leadership of the armed forces.
The experts I consulted described a range of possible outcomes if Mr. Trump returns to power, none benign. They cited particular countries and political regimes to illustrate where he might take the U.S.: Viktor Orban’s Hungary, with its coercive legal apparatus of “illiberal democracy”; Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, with its chronic social distemper and administrative dysfunction; or Vladimir Putin’s Russia, with its harsh one-man hyper-nationalist autocracy. All agreed that under a second Trump administration, liberalism will be marginalized and right-wing Christian groups super-empowered, while violence by vigilante, paramilitary groups will rise sharply.
 

lpetrich

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Jack Goldstone and Peter Turchin wrote Welcome To The ‘Turbulent Twenties’ - NOEMA in late 2020, before the elections.

Back to The Globe And Mail.
Perhaps Democrats squeak out a victory, and Republican states refuse to recognize the result. Or conversely, perhaps Republicans win, but only because Republican state legislatures override voting results; then Democratic protestors attack those legislatures. In either circumstance, much will depend on whether the country’s military splits along partisan lines.
Then discussing the Weimar Republic.
First, in both cases, a charismatic leader was able to unify right-wing extremists around a political program to seize the state. Second, a bald falsehood about how enemies inside the polity had betrayed the country – for the Nazis, the “stab in the back,” and for Trumpists, the Big Lie – was a vital psychological tool for radicalizing and mobilizing followers. Third, conventional conservatives believed they could control and channel the charismatic leader and rising extremism but were ultimately routed by the forces they helped unleash. Fourth, ideological opponents of this rising extremism squabbled among themselves; they didn’t take the threat seriously enough, even though it was growing in plain sight; and they focused on marginal issues that were too often red meat for the extremists. (Today, think toppling statues.)
Mitch McConnell is a good example of the third one. He cooperated with Trump and bailed him out twice.
To my mind, though, the fifth parallel is the most disconcerting: the propagation of a “hardline security doctrine.” Here I’ve been influenced by the research of Jonathan Leader Maynard, a young English scholar who is emerging as one of the world’s most brilliant thinkers on the links between ideology, extremism and violence. In a forthcoming book, Ideology and Mass Killing, Dr. Leader Maynard argues that extremist right-wing ideologies generally don’t arise from explicit efforts to forge an authoritarian society, but from the radicalization of a society’s existing understandings of how it can stay safe and secure in the face of alleged threats.

...
The rapid propagation of hardline security doctrines through a society, Dr. Leader Maynard says, typically occurs in times of political and economic crisis. Even in the Weimar Republic, the vote for the National Socialists was closely correlated with the unemployment rate.
The Nazis didn't get many votes when the economy was doing well, in the mid to late 1920's, but during the Great Depression, the Nazis started doing *very* well.
 

lpetrich

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"Beyond a certain threshold, other new research shows, political extremism feeds on itself, pushing polarization toward an irreversible tipping point."

The nonlinear feedback dynamics of asymmetric political polarization | PNAS
Political polarization threatens democracy in America. ... Our analysis suggests that subtle differences in the frequency and amplitude with which public opinion shifts left and right over time may have a differential effect on the self-reinforcing processes of elites, causing Republicans to polarize more quickly than Democrats. We find that as self-reinforcement approaches a critical threshold, polarization speeds up. Republicans appear to have crossed that threshold while Democrats are currently approaching it.
Polarization and tipping points | PNAS
We used a computational model to search for an answer in the phase transitions of political polarization. The model reveals asymmetric hysteresis trajectories with tipping points that are hard to predict and that make polarization extremely difficult to reverse once the level exceeds a critical value.

Back to TGAM.
This suggests a sixth potential parallel with Weimar: democratic collapse followed by the consolidation of dictatorship. Mr. Trump may be just a warm-up act – someone ideal to bring about the first stage, but not the second. Returning to office, he’ll be the wrecking ball that demolishes democracy, but the process will produce a political and social shambles. Still, through targeted harassment and dismissal, he’ll be able to thin the ranks of his movement’s opponents within the state – the bureaucrats, officials and technocrats who oversee the non-partisan functioning of core institutions and abide by the rule of law. Then the stage will be set for a more managerially competent ruler, after Mr. Trump, to bring order to the chaos he’s created.
Someone like Ron DeSantis.

Under the less-optimistic scenarios, the risks to our country in their cumulative effect could easily be existential, far greater than any in our federation’s history. What happens, for instance, if high-profile political refugees fleeing persecution arrive in our country, and the U.S. regime demands them back. Do we comply?
 

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3 reasons why New Zealand has the best-designed government in the world - Vox - Jan 16, 2015

Noting
The Perils of Presidentialism
Linz, Juan J. (Juan José), 1926-
Journal of Democracy, Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 1990, pp. 51-69 (Article)
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press
DOI: 10.1353/jod.1990.0011

Back to Vox.
We in the US tend to assume that — however awful we might think our politicians are — our political system is excellent. The Constitution is held in high esteem across the political spectrum, and Democrats and Republicans alike pay lip service to the "genius" of the Founders. But our system, combining two powerful legislative bodies with a strong executive, is pretty rare internationally. Indeed, it appears to be a weaker model than most; the US is the just about the only country to sustain a presidential system for a long period without descending into dictatorship.

We can learn a lot from other countries' models, which are often more streamlined and democratically representative than our own. The best of the bunch, in my judgment: New Zealand.

The article then discussed a downside of single-member districts: inadequate representation. A Democrat in rural Texas and a Republican in Manhattan are never likely to get well-represented. That is especially bad for when a candidate wins by a narrow margin - there is a big unrepresented population.

Author Dylan Matthews then discussed proportional representation, settling on mixed-member PR (MMP) as the best system. That is what's used in Germany, New Zealand, Lesotho, Bolivia, Scotland, and Wales.

Pure party list?
Party-list systems make it hard for a single party to get a majority, which means that if, say, a party has 45 seats out of 100, it still needs to win over a party with 6 seats to govern. The 6 seat party then has significant power to demand stuff, out of proportion to its actual level of support. So ironically, this form of proportional representation can have patently undemocratic consequences. Stuff like this has happened frequently in Israel, with fairly deleterious results.
DM says that nations with MMP avoid that kind of problem, but then again, there aren't many nations that use it.
Unlike party list representation, people still have representatives with at least some ties to their area, for whatever that's worth.

But more importantly, it means parties have to be organized enough to compete in a decent number of districts in order to have a shot. That discourages the kind of excessive party formation that happens under pure party-list representation, while still ensuring that smaller parties get some say.

It's not a fair fight. It's inherently easier to tweak an electoral system in a small country. The bigger the country the more complicated it is to balance it correctly
 

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It is regrettably clear that Europeans are prepared one bit to sacrifice anything to protect Ukraine against Putin's advances. Which is the same thing as not being willing to fight for democracy. It's a problem.
 

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I couldn't help but return to that Vox article.
3 reasons why New Zealand has the best-designed government in the world - Vox
Then saying that constitutional monarchies are great. Most such monarchies, like the UK one, strike me as monarchies in name only, monarchies that are mostly indistinguishable from republics. Their monarchs are monarques fainéants, do-nothing monarchs.

The article quotes this table:
TypeERLYRESHREGL
Constitutional monarchy281755
Indirectly elected president213742
Directly elected president144937
  • ERLY - early elections
  • RESH - Cabinet refhuffling/replacement
  • REGL - regular elections/other

Source: Shut up, royal baby haters. Monarchy is awesome. - The Washington Post

I am NOT impressed. It strikes me as  Survivorship bias - the surviving monarchies are those whose nations have not had political upheavals over the last few centuries and/or those whose monarchs stay out of political fights. That's why Prince Charles seems so reckless.

There is also the problem that parliamentary-system presidents may be people accustomed to political action, so they may deciding to meddle in politics.
 

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Are constitutional monarchies better than presidential republics? Correlation ≠ causation! | Suffragio -- looks at some different issues.


Trump endorses Hungary’s Orbán for reelection - POLITICO - "It’s not the first time the former president has backed a populist foreign leader with authoritarian tendencies."
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Endorsement of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán of Hungary truly loves his Country and wants safety for his people. He has done a powerful and wonderful job in protecting Hungary, stopping illegal immigration, creating jobs, trade, and should be allowed to continue to do so in the upcoming Election. He is a strong leader and respected by all. He has my Complete support and Endorsement for reelection as Prime Minister!
Donald Trump on Vladimir Putin: In his own words | CNN Politics - 2016 July 28
  • October 2007: Trump said Putin’s doing a great job
  • December 2011: Trump praised Putin’s “intelligence” and “no-nonsense way” in his book “Time to Get Tough.”
  • June 2013: Trump wonders if Putin will be his “new best friend”
  • October 2013: Trump says Putin is outsmarting the US
  • July 31, 2015: Trump says they’d get along
  • Oct. 11, 2015: Trump says they had good ratings together
  • Nov. 10, 2015: Trump reiterates that he and Putin “were stablemates”
  • Dec. 17, 2015: Trump returns Putin’s praise
  • Dec. 18, 2015: Trump defends against allegations Putin has ordered the killings of journalists
  • Feb. 17, 2016: Trump says he’d be “crazy” to disavow Putin’s praise
  • April 28, 2016: Trump says maybe they’ll get along
  • July 28: Trump says he’d be firm with Putin
 
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