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I don't regard states like Israel as democracies as they have disenfranchised vast swathes of Palestinians while denying them separate statehood, but if you take many European, ex-commonwealth and even most Asian and some Latin American democracies as the norm, you will find that most democracies do not have:

  1. Vast sums of dark money funding candidates/parties
  2. Political advertising on a huge scale
  3. FPTP single seat electoral systems which mean that effectively, only two parties are in contention for power
  4. Constituency boundaries controlled by partisan rather than neutral arbiters
  5. Blatantly politicised judiciary
  6. Voter suppression on a large scale
  7. Voter disenfranchisement for even minor felony offences
  8. Voting technology controlled by a single private company
  9. Relatively low turnout rates
  10. Corporates being treated as "people"
  11. "Free Speech" only available to those who can pay for it
  12. But they DO have broadly proportionate representation systems which means many minor parties and minorities can win representation. Democracy should never be reduced to a binary choice. It must reflect the diversity of society.

In so many ways, the USA is an outlier, and not in a good way...


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 08:31:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with your criteria but doubt there are very many states to which none truly apply. But the USA DOES have almost all of those problems. How many apply to Ireland?


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 08:58:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously peoples views will vary, depending on how well they think their interests and concerns are represented within the polity, but in my view, almost none.

Sinn Féin has some sources of finance it refuses to reveal claiming they are covered by (non existent) UK disclosure laws in N. Ireland and the DUP received and spent a few hundred thousands £ of dark money on pro-Brexit ads in a London free sheet, but in general there is v. little money in Irish politics and quite high ethical standards.

Fianna Fail had some dodgy friends and fund-raising practices in the 1980's and there are still occasionally allegations of "brown envelope money" corrupting the planning permission process but that has been mostly cleaned up. There is some state support for parties/candidates to limit the scope of private money, but in general election budgets are small.

I encountered some minor corruption when chairman of a local community council opposed to an illegal CRH quarrying operation. En route to a County Council meeting we dropped of for a break at a hotel only to find county councillors being wined and dined by CRH!

We won in the end, but it was tough going. I'm not active enough now to know if it is still going on. I suspect it is.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 19th, 2020 at 09:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I submitted your criteria to FB friends in Australia and Canada. Both are far better than the USA, but Canada stands out for the robustness of their democracy, according to this sample of two well informed opinions.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 at 12:23:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not trying to score brownie points for any particular jurisdiction, but highlight how much "the GREATEST DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD" is really an outlier, something most of its denizens don't seem to realise.

The other thing which intrigues me is how Republican/conservative some states bordering on Canada seem to be - you would have thought that exposure to Canadian norms would have sensitized them to what a real democracy looks like.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 at 11:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"exposure to Canadian norms would have sensitized them Canadian norms": Are you joking? I can't tell.
by Cat on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 at 03:48:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 at 10:11:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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