• Michael McGowan

Degradation of Democracy

Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, Finland, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Austria, Mauritius, Malta, Spain, Costa Rica, South Korea, Japan, Chile, and Estonia. What do these 24 countries have in common? They all beat the United States of America in the Democracy Index.

The U.S. is considered a flawed democracy. And that’s not due to the 2016 election. The Democracy Index is made up by The Economist: Intelligence Unit. Analyzing a bunch of things from pluralism, civil liberties and political culture. Whose fault is our flawed democracy? It’s ours. All of us are involved with the problems we have. The decline reflected a fall “in popular confidence in the functioning of public institutions, a trend that predated — and aided — the election of Donald Trump,” according to the report. Many people felt either not or under represented over multiple administrations back to the 1960s. Despite the opening of civil liberties people don’t feel part of the political process.

The people refuse to vote, they are unable to vote, they are marginalized by gerrymandering. What are the people and this the country to do? We have never been a perfect democracy and by constraints of the Constitution this country never shall be. I’m not going to argue for or against the electoral college. That’s another post, if ever.

I accept results when they are genuine. Voter participation is abysmal. My father-in-law have extreme political difference. I vote; he does not. You’d think I’d be happy about it because it increases the weight of my vote. Every election that comes around I encourage him to vote. Country-wide voter turnout hasn’t seen more than 60% in five decades.

More about the index. It’s also about the political culture and the functioning of the government. It will take a few generations to get to the top of the list, but we mustn’t resign ourselves to failure and lowered expectations. We shall promote ourselves as the founder of the modern democracy and strive for the zenith for a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

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