Polarized planet & What is to be done? Larry Diamond @HooverInst

Nov 29, 01:43 AM
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Polarized planet & What is to be done? Larry Diamond @HooverInst

The problems with our democracy—ever-deepening polarization, incivility, gridlock, dysfunction, conflicts of interest, and disregard for democratic norms—are not just problems of political culture and behavior. Politicians are driven by incentives, especially the desire to get re-elected. Institutions heavily shape these incentives, and our institutions are in need of reform. Unless we reform our democracy, we will be increasingly hard-pressed to improve the health of democracy globally.

The reform agenda for American democracy is a long one. It must include measures to reduce the implicit corruption in our systems of lobbying and campaign finance, and to eliminate the grotesque unfairness of partisan gerrymandering. But we must also address other factors that have reduced our politics to a wasteland of bitter, uncompromising partisan polarization. To a degree not seen in more than a century, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill now operate in incompatible ideological corners, with virtually no common ground or willingness to compromise. As a result, legislative and confirmation battles, not to mention elections, have become zero-sum struggles in which anything goes and the only aim is total victory. Since 1947, the voting record of the average Republican in Congress has moved dramatically to the right, the average Democratic voting record has moved less dramatically but still significantly to the left, and (not coincidentally) the average number of bills passed per Congress has dropped by about two-thirds.

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Mackie2

Mackie2 - 17 days ago

Can't help it... Everybody's second choice wins, or in a popular national election the least popular's first choice wins and everybody's gonna be cool... Right.