The Great Debate

Elections were a wild party in the 1880s — that’s one reason why more people voted back then

By Donald P. Green
October 29, 2014

A man dressed as Uncle Sam drums up the crowd at an election campaign rally in Saginaw.

The United States has a low voter turnout by comparison to other Western democracies, and our turnout in midterm elections is especially abysmal, attracting roughly 40 percent of eligible voters to the polls.

from Breakingviews:

James Hoffa: Let sun shine on corporate donations

By Guest Contributor
May 29, 2014

By James Hoffa
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews guest columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Why Egyptians voted for Sisi

By Sarah Eltantawi
May 28, 2014

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Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is set to win the presidential elections in Egypt this week, almost a year after Egypt’s military reasserted formal control following widespread revolts against Mohamed Mursi.

Afghan elections redefine U.S. role

By Senator Robert Menendez
April 4, 2014

On Saturday, Afghans will go to the polls to elect a new president, marking a critical turning point in Afghanistan’s history and our role in the country.

In Turkey, taking on West wins elections

By Howard Eissenstat
March 28, 2014

Is Turkish leader crazy, or crazy like a fox?

Confronted by a series of revelations involving corruption, Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan countered by banning Twitter by court order last Friday. He has now moved onto other social media networks — blocking YouTube on Thursday.

Why ‘anti-European populists’ won’t win big in the European elections

By Cas Mudde
January 28, 2014

For months EU politicians have been warning us about the upcoming elections for the European Parliament (EP), to be held in May in all 28 member states. European Commission President Jose Barroso recently predicted “a festival of unfounded reproaches against Europe” as a consequence of the EU-wide “rise of extremism from the extreme right and from the extreme left.” The media has mostly followed these political messages, publishing countless articles, editorials and op-eds about the upcoming European apocalypse. Most of these stories refer exclusively to the rise of the right wing French National Front (FN), under new leader Marine Le Pen, arguing that her party’s rising popularity parallels that of other extreme nationalist parties across Europe. In addition, as is often the case in European politics, many articles and op-eds also include references to the Great Depression of the 1930s and a return of fascism.

Let’s make candidates pledge not to use bots

By Philip N. Howard
January 2, 2014

Bots — chunks of computer code that generate messages and replicate themselves — have been infecting political discourse around the world. They have been spotted try to influence elections in the United Kingdom, Mexico and just recently, South Korea. Politicians there have been using bots to torment their opponents, muddle political conversations, and misdirect debate. We need political leaders to pledge not to use them.

Fighting for democracy in South Asia

By Nisha Biswal
November 15, 2013

For the first time in post-colonial history, all of the countries of South Asia are democracies.

Seeking ‘good-enough-governance’ — not democracy

By Stephen D. Krasner
September 23, 2013

Only rarely have American leaders been able to reconcile the nation’s democratic values, material interest and national security.

When political compromise is suspect

By Bill Bishop
January 7, 2013

The odds are that the extremely close national election wasn’t close at all in the place where you live.